TWO Independent Wiltshire Councillors who are proposing an introduction of a retail levy on supermarkets and large retailers have submitted their business case.
Cllr Jeff Osborn and cllr Terry Chivers have tabled a notice of motion to be heard at the next full council meeting for a 8.5% levy of the rateable value on retail outlets with a value over £500,000.
The councillors then propose that the money be used to help cut the cost of car parking in Wiltshire towns to give a boost to the independent retailers.
The business case also breaks down how the supermarkets can absorb the extra cost of the levy without passing the cost on to the customers. The case details profits made by major supermarkets which range from £855million to £2.47billion. It says, “This levy would represent a tiny fraction of those profits. Also, research has shown that 95% of all the money spent in any large supermarket leaves the local economy for good, compared to just 50% from local independent retailers; this levy is a modest attempt to ensure some more of that money re-circulates within and continues to contribute to local jobs and local trade.”
One of the main concerns some people have expressed is that if a levy was introduced in Wiltshire then prices would increase in supermarkets. However, similar levies have been introduced in Scotland and in Northern Ireland and reports say that the impact on consumers is minimal.
The next Wiltshire council meeting takes place on 12th November when the business case will be heard.