Scottish retailers narrowly escape threat of levy

Large Scottish retailers such as garden centre chain Dobbies look to have narrowly avoided a new retailer levy that could have damaged investment.

The Local Government & Communities Committee of the Scottish Parliament has voted in favour of annulling the proposed Large Retailer Levy, which would result in retail stores with a rateable value of more than £750,000 paying extra taxes. The measure is being voted on by the full Scottish Parliament this week.

Dobbies chief executive James Barnes said: "We've got an excellent track record of investment in Scotland, but we do find it unhelpful that we already pay a higher rate in Scotland than we do for our centres south of the border.

"We're concerned that the levy will make future investment more difficult for the retail sector in Scotland and damage jobs at this crucial time for the economy. We and others urge the Scottish Government to think again."

Dobbies has announced that it is opening new centres in Braehead (4 February), Ashford in Kent (March), Livingston (March), Carlisle (summer), Peterborough (autumn) and Liverpool (autumn).

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