A number of the big supermarkets have said they will repay the business rates relief awarded to them during the crisis.
Asda is handing back £340m, Tesco £585m, Morrisons £274m, Sainsbury’s £440m. Altus Group estimated the big six supermarkets (those mentioned plus Aldi about £190m and Lidl approximately £100m) would have saved around £1.9bn in bills during the tax year to 31 March 2021.
The Morning Advertiser editor Ed Bedington said: “We’re pleased to see that the supermarkets, who have benefited massively during the lockdown and pandemic generally, return the money that they didn’t really need to take in the first place.
“Business rates are a huge challenge for the pub sector, and on top of the unfair targeting of the hospitality sector v retail, to see retailers who are booming getting those kinds of breaks was a kick in the ribs.
“We’re delighted that supermarkets are doing the right thing, and we would call on the Government to use that unexpected windfall to provide further financial support to the pub sector, a sector they have unfairly targeted and left foundering in the wake of their inexcusable decisions which have no basis in science or reality.
“The message is simple: show us the money Mr Chancellor.”
According to The Guardian, Sainsbury’s will repay £440m of the £490m it was awarded but would be keeping £50m for its Argos stores.
Altus Group analysis found pubs in England and Wales, receiving the one year business rates holiday worth £768.12m.