The Treasury welcomes moves to repay support, as supermarkets forgo business rates relief

Joanna Bourke
·1 min read
<p>Tesco has decided to repay business rates relief it was given during the pandemic</p> (REUTERS)

Tesco has decided to repay business rates relief it was given during the pandemic

(REUTERS)

A number of supermarket giants have said they plan to repay business rates relief they were given during the coronavirus crisis.

Some of the UK’s largest grocers have faced criticism about benefiting from the business rates holiday, aimed at helping firms ride out pandemic, because they are also paying out dividends to shareholders and have seen sales growth.

A spokesman for HM Treasury today told the Evening Standard: “We’ve been clear throughout the pandemic that businesses should use our support appropriately, and we welcome any decision to repay support where it is no longer needed.”

He added: "As with other support schemes, any funds returned will support the ongoing efforts to protect people’s jobs and incomes.”

Tesco was the first food retailer to reveal its plan to handback £585 million in taxpayer support. It yesterday said it would repay the money to the UK government and the devolved administrations.

Since then Morrison’s, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Aldi have announced moves to forgo business rates relief.

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