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Government dismisses ‘Tesco tax’

The Government has blasted calls from the leader of Derby Council to introduce a ‘Tesco tax’ that would see larger retailers paying more in business rates.

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles has written a letter to councillor Ranjit Banwait, who called for the tax in July, saying the proposal was “lazy” and would “hit jobs”.

Pickles said: “Imposing new, additional taxes on supermarkets and larger shops will ultimately push up the price of food and the cost of living, hitting low-income families the hardest. Such tax would invariably reduce investment in new and existing stores and hit jobs.”

He added: “The solution to every policy issue seems to be how to impose new taxes. This is a lazy way of thinking.”

Pickles said the coalition government’s long-term economic plan has “supported local high streets with a billion pound package of investment that includes a £1,000 discount for smaller shops, doubling small business rate relief, making small rate relief easier to claim and a new relief to get empty shops back into productive use.”

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