Bill Grimsey tells MPs business rates are boost to supermarkets

Kasmira Jefford
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FORMER Focus DIY boss Bill Grimsey renewed calls yesterday for a revaluation of the UK’s costly business rates, which he warned were benefiting supermarkets at the expense of high street shops.

Speaking at a select committee hearing in the House of Commons yesterday, Grimsey said the government’s decision to delay the 2015 re-evaluation of business rates to 2017 was saving supermarkets £1.3bn in tax.

This is because the value of their property portfolios is likely to have increased, while shops on the high street are likely to have seen the value fall.

He explained: “We are favouring economically supermarkets who will benefit from the delay.”

Grimsey, who conducted an independent review into the retail industry, said: “Unless we do something right now about the business rates issue which is causing the demise of many of the independent retailers in this country, then it doesn’t matter how good their product is...the 2015 re-evaluation must be reinstated now.”