Call for level playing field

Cut business rates and raise VAT to help high street, says King

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Online retailers do not pay business rates

The former boss of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, has called business rates to be halved and VAT increased to rebalance competition between online and bricks and mortar retailers.

Mr King said it is unfair that High Street retailers pay business rates while their online rivals do not.

Business rates could be cut by half and VAT increased by 2% to make up the reduction in revenue.

He said online retailers use services which property owners pay for through business rates.

“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.”

He said that reducing business rates and raising VAT would have no impact on the shopper as it would not require prices for goods to be changed.

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