New PM must fix ‘outdated’ business rates, Iceland boss urges

The boss of Iceland, Richard Walker, has called on the Tory government leadership candidates to prioritise a shake-up of “outdated” business rates.

According to This is Money, the frozen food retailer’s managing director is urging the next prime minister to pledge a “root and branch” reform of the tax.

He said the PM candidate should prioritise business rates, as it will have a bigger impact on jobs, productivity and levelling up.

Currently, the levy is penalising bricks and mortar retailers, and, if no change has been made, the High Street will continue to decline, Walker added.

“Our business rates bill is well over £40 million a year. It’s just unfair. You have massive online businesses who are getting a piggyback for free,” Walker said.

READ MORE: Iceland hit with £140m freezer bill as energy prices soar

This follows similar calls from the Retail Jobs Alliance (RJI), including companies like the Big 4 grocers, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Just last week the RJI, claimed Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are “failing to prioritise the High Street”.

Walker added that the reform is especially important customers turn to discount retailers such as Iceland, due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

The news comes as Iceland’s ‘weekly shop in one click’ has risen in price since 5 July by 50%, from £40 to £60, while growing by 33%.

The frozen goods retailer, which has an online offer that consists of a basket already filled with shopping intended to feed a family for week, which customers can take to the checkout after a single click.

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