Corporation Tax progress undone by Business Rates and National Insurance, says Justin King

Sainsbury’s boss Justin King has criticised unfairness in the tax system, contrasting the bill for high street operators with their online counterparts. The supermarket giant’s chief executive also complained that the benefit from falling rates of Corporation Tax has been wiped out by rises in other taxes:

For every £1 we have benefited from the reduction in corporation tax we have incurred more than £2 of other taxes, in particular business rates and employers’ national insurance.

There is a difference between bricks and mortar retailers who pay rates, National Insurance and all the other domestic taxes that are due, and online retailers who by virtue of their lack of physical presence in the high street don’t contribute in the same way.

It’s not just supermarkets suffering under the weight of heavy taxes like Business Rate and employer’s National Insurance. Small businesses across the country have supported our Freeze Business Rates campaign while a pressure is building to abolish National Insurance.

The Government’s action on cutting Corporation Tax has been welcome. But it has been undone by their decision to close the deficit by increasing taxes rather than cutting spending. And the result has been families facing real austerity in their household budgets, companies holding back from investing and a flat-lining borderline double-dip economy where growth rates of half of a per cent are thought to be something to get excited about.

It’s time for change. To add your voice to the call to stop hiking Business Rates, visit

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