Asda chief executive Andy Clarke has made a renewed call for business rates to be frozen as retailers face spiralling costs in 2013.
Clarke called for a “level of taxation that enables us to grow and not pass on those costs to customers”.
His call comes as the BRC and Retail Week are campaigning for a freeze in business rates in 2013 to enable retailers to grow.
The Fair Rates for Retail campaign calls on government to freeze rates rises in 2013 and to switch the measurement from September’s Retail Prices Index to an average of the more stable Consumer Prices Index.
Clarke told ITV News: “I’m a shopkeeper. Retailers are the voice of the customers and that’s what’s important for government to hear.
“As we move into this final quarter of this year it’s going to be challenging. If Government decides to freeze rates, and it’s their call, then that would enable us to continue to invest and to do our part in growing the economy.
“In 2011 it was 5.6%, this year we are expecting another big rise in rates. There are other cost pressures that will be challenging for retailers over the course of the next 12 months, things like the wheat harvest which is going to put pressure on food inflation into next year. So managing all of those changes so we don’t have to pass it on to customers is so very important.”
Retail Week is urging retailers to sign up to its petition for Fair Rates for Retail.