Retail trade union Usdaw has joined forces with major retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Coop, along with retail representative bodies, by writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to cut the ‘Shops Tax’.

The new temporary coalition have called themselves the ‘Retail Jobs Alliance’ and will be making the case for an overall cut in business rates for all retail premises funded by a new online sales tax.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “When retail employers and the shopworkers’ trade union combine in a call for action, it’s time for the Government to listen. The retail industry was facing one of the most difficult times in its history before Coronavirus and the pandemic has accelerated the move towards online shopping.

“It is clear that the sector urgently needs a retail recovery plan. Usdaw continues to campaign for the Government to introduce a genuine plan to ‘Save our Shops’, with business rates reform being one of our key demands. Fundamental reform of the system was fully supported by delegates at our annual conference this week and is central to the revival of the high street. The current system is not fit for purpose, placing bricks and mortar retailers at a significant disadvantage to online retail and action has to be taken to level the playing field.

“Cutting the ‘Shops Tax’ will help protect shops from closure, encourage growth in high street retail, reinvigorate our struggling town and city centres, allow retailers to innovate and importantly protect and create jobs. This ground-breaking ‘Retail Jobs Alliance’ will be providing further evidence of the positive effect business rates reform will have on staff, shops and communities. We will also be seeking further engagement with the Government on this important issue.”

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