Should we introduce a supermarket levy?

supermarket_sweep_b There have been calls for local authorities to be allowed to impose 'supermarket levies' so they can help to revive town centres.

However, if the supermarkets get charged for existing, then they're going to stick the price of their products up aren't they?

These proposals has been put forward by a group of councils, led by authority in Derby. They think that these levies could generate as much as £400 million.

Anyway, those in the know about supermarkets think this is a bad idea.

"Profit margins at supermarkets are wafer thin. You cannot just continue to take money out in taxes before prices will have to rise. The business rates system needs overhauling and simplifying and this would only add more of a burden and more complexity," said one supermarket source to the ThisIsMoney.

Derby City Council leader Ranjit Banwait said that life was being ‘sucked out of the city centre’ by out-of-town supermarkets and that, if they're going to dominate local traders out of business, they should pay something back to the community.

The submission was made under the terms of the Sustainable Communities Act which encourages local initiatives and would apply to stores with a rateable value of £500,000 or more.

Surely there's better ways of councils kicking some life back into their communities? If town centres are suffering, then how about going easy on the cost of parking in the community, which is just as prohibitive as anything else? Or maybe they should offer reduced business rates to independent businesses who are trying to offer something different to the hypermarkets?

Of course, one way of saving the country loads of money is to look at the expenses and budgets of local councillors too, but chances are, this union of local authorities aren't as keen on that.


  • Han S.
    Then why didn't Derby City council refuse planning permission for these out of town supermarkets?
  • jaffacake
    This is a bad idea, because it will put up food prices, hitting poorer people. Tax money is not always wisely spent. How about taxing the food that supermarkets waste by throwing it away. Millions of tonnes that should have been eaten is sent to be composted, eaten by pigs, or buried as landfill due to supply chain inefficiency.
  • Unhappy M.
    What they need to do is stop extortionate parking charges, then i think you will find more people using their town centres.
  • 4x3p
    Seems a bit daft to me considering there are lot of supermarkets already within high streets and they've been saying they are going to focus on more local/express/convenience style stores in the future. Wouldn't a internet only retailer levy be a better idea since a lot of them are funnelling a whole load of tax and jobs abroad anyway?
  • Bill
    Because, you know, the levy on energy bills worked SO well.
  • People P.
    at jaffacake Surely taxing the food that Supermarkets waste will also put up food prices? Or are you suggesting that they literally send the pile of rotting food a tax demand?
  • Mary S.
    As Unhappy Man says. Remove parking charges and people will use town centres. It's very simple. Parking in a supermarket is free, so we'll use them instead.

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