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Retail leaders call for rates reform

4th May 2022

The Retail Job Alliance, a new group representing some of the UK's largest retailers, is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to overhaul the business rates system.

In a letter to the Chancellor, the group asked for an overall cut in business rates for retail premises, which could be funded through the introduction of a new online sales tax (OST).

The coalition, which includes retail leaders such as Tesco, Greggs and Waterstones hopes the Government will bring more balance to the amount of tax businesses face when comparing physical sales and digital sales.

In February, the Government announced a consultation exploring the possible introduction of an OST. The findings from the consultation will make up part of the Autumn Budget later this year.

The consultation will run until 20 May.

At the time of the announcement, Lucy Frazer, financial secretary to the Treasury, said:

"We want to see thriving high streets and a fair economy as we move forward from the pandemic, which is why our business rates review cut the burden by £7 billion for businesses, and committed to look at an online sales tax - given the imbalance identified by some between online and in-store retailers."

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