Scottish retailers have called on Finance Secretary John Swinney for answers on the large retailer levy when he appears before the Local Government and Communities Committee today (Wednesday). 

The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) has asked how the levy will benefit smaller stores, given it will not raise any additional income for these businesses, and how it can be described as an ‘out-of-town’ tax when it affects town and city premises.

SRC director Fiona Moriarty outlined her concerns which she would like Swinney to address in his evidence to the Committee.
“Last week members of the Scottish Parliament’s Finance Committee made it clear they felt there were flaws with the proposed levy,” she said. “How does this levy help smaller enterprises when the money it raises will not be dedicated to additional small business support or the regeneration of urban areas?”

If the ‘supermarket levy’ proposals are approved by Scottish Parliament, stores with property valued at more than £750,000 would see a 35% increase in business rates. The Association of Convenience Stores has labelled the proposals as “clumsy” and “in need of significant improvement”.