Mark Whitehead 27 October 2014

Pickles blocks new taxes on supermarkets

Local government secretary Eric Pickles has warned he will block council plans to impose new taxes on large supermarkets, accusing them of waging 'class war against business'.

Instead, he says local authorities should use their existing powers to support local high streets by 'calling off municipal parking bullies and backing local street markets'.

Several local authorities have been considering imposing extra business rates on supermarkets and large shops under the Sustainable Communities Act.

Mr Pickles said: 'This government supports free enterprise and lower taxes. We don’t agree with the lazy thinking from the town halls whose answer to everything is to find a new way of hiking up taxes.

'Instead, the government has cut taxes on small shops – which is a better way of giving a hand up to local shops than just beating up their rivals and forcing up the cost of shopping.

'Rather than waging class war on business, councils would be better using their existing powers to support local high streets, such as calling off municipal parking bullies and backing local street markets.'

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