The proposals were voted down in the Scottish Parliament by 68 votes to 46, with Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MSPs describing the plan as “anti-competitive”. The levy would have brought in an extra £30m a year, with stores valued at more than £750,000 charged a 35% increase in business rates.
Asked on BBC Five Live why opposition parties - with the exception of the Greens - voted against the proposal, Salmond said: “My theory is that the supermarkets have the most enormous lobbying power. I think they are the barons of politics.”
Under the proposals, he said Sainsbury’s would have been asked to contribute an extra £2.5m a year, amounting to their revenue for a single hour.
The minister hinted the plans would be included in the SNP’s manfesto ahead of the Scottish elections in May. “We can’t get it through this parliament, but I think it’d be a fair assumption ot say it’s something that we’ll take to the people,” he said.