SNP warned of ‘Tesco tax’ threat to jobs and investment

RETAIL chiefs have warned that the SNP Government is jeopardising jobs and investment after a £95 million “tax raid” on supermarkets was passed in Holyrood today.

RETAIL chiefs have warned that the SNP Government is jeopardising jobs and investment after a £95 million “tax raid” on supermarkets was passed in Holyrood today.

A last ditch Tory attempt to scupper the public health levy was voted down by the local Government committee.

Local Government minister Derek MacKay said the £95 million tax on big retail premises – over the next three years - will only hit a fraction of their profits.

But Scottish Retail Consortium Director, Ian Shearer, said: “It sends an alarming message to businesses of all kinds, that if you succeed in Scotland you will be seen as fair game for extra taxation whenever the Government needs some help balancing its budget.”

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CBI assistant director David Lonsdale added: “The new tax will make it more expensive for retailers to operate in Scotland, and could put at risk much needed new investment and jobs.”

But Mr MacKay insisted that the measure is “relatively small and will not discourage large retailers from investing here.”

A motion by Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell to kick out the measure, which will go into a £500 million pot to boost preventative health spending, was voted down 5-1 by the committee.

Nationalist convenor Joe Fitzpatrick said: “Those with the broadest shoulders should be bearing a little bit more of the burden.”