Retailers face “stealth tax” through Queen’s speech measures

The British Retail Consortium is warning that new powers given to local authorities amount to a “stealth tax”. The Business Rate Supplementary Bill, to be announced following the Queen’s speech today, (December 3) allows extra revenue to be raised directly from businesses.

The bill gives local authorities, for the first time, the power to charge businesses an additional supplement on top of their business rates in order to fund specific, local projects. The intention is that projects delivered would result in boosting businesses and economic development.

Retailers have widely criticised the plan, which the BRC has long-opposed. The retailers’ trade body claims that retailers already pay more than any other sector in business rates and supplements would add an extra £160m to their overall tax bills.

The BRC says it is “disappointed” safeguards have not been introduced in the bill, such as a compulsory business vote before it is enacted, and no clear framework to hold local authorities to account in developing and implementing the proposals.

BRC director General Stephen Robertson says: “At a time when retailers are being hit by rising costs and falling sales this Bill gives local authorities the power to clobber businesses with a hefty new stealth tax.”

Boots UK managing director Alex Gourlay says: “This is the wrong tax at the wrong time.”

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here