Alex Baldock: ‘Raise rates for warehouses to save the high street’

Alex Baldock - Hi Res-1105

We’re now only weeks away from the end of the government’s business rates holiday. I’m sure many of us are grateful for a decisive and vital measure that, for some retailers, has made the difference between surviving the pandemic and not.

Nevertheless, we now need clarity on what lies beyond. Retail matters to the UK: 3 million jobs and £17bn of tax are at stake. 

We’re the UK’s biggest private-sector employer and can be a powerful engine of the post-crisis recovery. But it’s not sustainable for retail to be 5% of the economy while shouldering 10% of all business taxation. We’re not looking for handouts – just fair treatment.

Of course, we can’t be blind to the government’s daunting and urgent challenge to get post-crisis public finances to add up. So whatever fairer taxation we propose must be affordable and easy to implement.

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