Ex-Sainsbury’s boss urges VAT increase to save high street

King, Justin

Former Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has said business rates for retailers should be halved and VAT increased to 22% in a bid to save the flagging high street.

King told the BBC’s Today programme that these measures would help level the taxation playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers battling pureplay competition.

“The services that those business rates pay for are used by online retailers. They drive on the roads that are maintained by them, the brown cardboard boxes they deliver are collected by dustmen or taken to tips paid for by those business rates.”

The former grocery chief executive claimed his proposed measures would ease the burden on retailers, without increasing prices for consumers at the tills.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading

Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on Retail-Week.com
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.