Retail tax move is unpopular with many
There is growing anger over the SNP’s proposal to impose a new higher business rate on retailers with larger premises – dubbed the Tesco tax.
When the boss of Sainsbury’s threatens to drop its ambitious expansion plans in Scotland unless the tax hike is dropped you know you have got a big political headache.
But the most extraordinary aspect of this whole fiasco is that the clear impression was given that this was a tax on large out of town retailers with the implication that it would help to protect town and city centre operators.
Now we find that it will be imposed on big city centre retailers.
They were already paying heavy business rates and at a time when VAT has gone up and jobs need to be found in the private sector to replace public sector jobs which are going this is a crazy move.
Some may say big players who already make substantial profits are acting like bullies threatening to withdraw investment from Scotland. However the supermarket sector just happens to be the most likely creator of new jobs in the current climate and we need them.
The SNP has already alienated many business people through their business rate policy which has resulted in big rate increases for hard pressed hotels in Scotland.
At a time when they want to generate the support of voters in the forthcoming Holyrood election this is a situation they need to resolve quickly.