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PS105m rate cut FORTESCO as small firms struggle.

TESCO is in line for a PS105m business rates cut on its biggest stores over the next five years, while small firms are set to be hammered with crippling hikes.

The revelation comes days after the supermarket giant reported profits of over PS1bn and as Communities Secretary Sajid Javid prepares to be grilled by fellow MPs over the controversial tax.

New figures from business rates specialists CVS show that the Government's revaluation will see Tesco's bill for its largest stores in England and Wales fall by PS13m this year alone, from PS450m to PS437m.

CVS estimates Te s c o will save upwards of PS100m over the next five years as a result.

"Over the next five years, allowing for transitional Sajid relief which limits how quickly bills can rise and fall, with increases through inflation, CVS projects Tesco will save PS105.32m in rates under the revaluation for its largest stores.

"In comparison, across England and Wales small shops have seen their rateable values, used to determine bills, increase by 8.5% whilst pubs have seen a 14.36% hike," CVS chief executive Mark Rigby said.

Smaller retailers across the country are being hit with crippling rises, with some having to stomach increases of well over 50%.

Tesco disputes the tax cut as "inaccurate", but declined to say how much their largest stores would save under the revaluation.

A spokesman for the grocer said: "Tesco is one of the UK's largest rate payers, paying almost PS700m in rates in 2016-2017, and the 2017 revaluation will not alter that trend.

"Tesco has a significant physical presence across high streets and town centres, and fixed costs such as business rates are placing huge pressure on our operations. The current rates system is unsustainable and needs urgent reform."

The figures are based on published government data for property values in 2010 and 2017 and look at 563 of Tesco's largest stores, classed as superstores, in England and Wales.

The news is likely to pile more pressure on the Government over its April 1 changes to business rates, the commercial equivalent of council tax.


Tesco reported its first full-year increase in UK sales for seven years

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2017
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