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Northern Ireland retail tax a threat to jobs

A proposal to introduce an extra tax on large retail properties in Northern Ireland, outlined in the Northern Ireland Executive Budget Statement last week could limit retail expansion in the country and harm employment prospects.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Northern Ireland retail tax a threat to jobs

A proposal to introduce an extra tax on large retail properties in Northern Ireland, outlined in the Northern Ireland Executive Budget Statement last week could limit retail expansion in the country and harm employment prospects.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) warns penalising successful retailers will damage Northern Ireland's reputation as a business location and be self-defeating.

Director General of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, said: "A stable recovery depends on economic growth, which the private sector alone can provide. This contradictory proposal to impose an extra tax on large retailers threatens to introduce new financial penalties for success.

"Retailers already pay the highest proportion of business rates of any sector. There's no rationale for singling out retail ahead of other sectors such as banking or business services.

"Retailers are planning growth across the UK, investing in town centres and employing an increasing number of people. It would be terrible to see Northern Ireland miss out on that growth as a result of the Northern Ireland Executive pursuing a policy which could make the country a less welcoming place to do business.

"The Executive aims to support small businesses but by making investment less attractive for larger businesses could damage the very shopping areas some smaller companies depend on for their own customers, and hit tourist appeal. This would be self-defeating.

"It's good news there will be a consultation on this issue, and that it's possible impact will be investigated. We will co-operate fully with that process."

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