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To: Simon Roberts, Giles Hurley, Roger Burnley, Christian Hartnagel, David Potts

Supermarket CEOs, hand back the cash!

We did it! We got supermarkets to do the right thing and hand back their business rates relief back to the government.

In total, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Asda, Morrisons, and Aldi, are returning £2bn in relief money. Though this money should never have been given to them in the first place, our win proves that by piling on the pressure, we can hold these big businesses to account.

And that's not all: we've also influenced how other big retailers handle their relief money. This is huge. By showing support for this campaign, you've played an important role in how we recover from this crisis.

Now that we've had £2bn handed back, we need to see this money distributed to the right causes. When we clapped for carers and other essential workers, we weren’t thinking of supermarket CEOs or shareholders, but the thousands of people working on shop floors around the country who took the greatest risks to keep the rest of us safe and well-supplied.

Supermarket CEOs, hand back the cash!

We demand supermarket CEOs hand back the cash. During the COVID crisis, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrison, Lidl, and Aldi received almost £2bn in tax relief from public funds designed to support businesses impacted by the crisis - while making massive pay-outs to their shareholders.

UPDATE: After huge pressure to do the right thing Tesco has decided to Hand Back The Cash - we need to keep the pressure up to make sure the other supermarkets do the same!

Why is this important?

Big supermarkets are one of the few businesses who have done well during the Covid-19 crisis. So why are they receiving millions in government handouts which could be used to support struggling businesses and communities?

Back in March, the government introduced a 12-month tax relief for businesses across England and Wales to provide a safety net for those that were facing financial difficulty.

Thousands of businesses stepped forward to receive a hand-out, including the UK’s big supermarkets. But retailers like Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Lidl, and Asda have all experienced a boom in sales at a time when they remained open for business while others were forced to close.

And they’ve done well: Sainsbury’s recently paid £231 million in dividends to its shareholders. Coincidentally, almost exactly the same amount as their public money bonus.

Other businesses have paid back public funds they didn’t end up needing – while supermarkets should never have been eligible for this money in the first place. It’s only right they now do the right thing and hand back the cash to the government.

At a time when many people across the country have struggled with getting food on the table and school children have been left hungry, these millions could be used by government to support small businesses and communities, for example funding extra support to families affected by job losses.

We need to get our priorities straight as a country – and that includes supporting small businesses and families over handing out huge tax breaks to big corporates like supermarkets. If supermarkets want to live up to the cuddly image they’re cultivating this Christmas, they should hand back the cash.

Read more about the issue here:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/supermarkets-sweep-up-with-1-9bn-tax-break-nmrn2fjp2
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/nov/15/supermarkets-should-pay-back-19bn-covid-business-rates-relief-say-mps

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Reasons for signing

  • Supermarkets have done well during lockdown as have many smaller businesses - I'm glad to say. How can the govt. be so blatant in wasting public funds (and what are ministers shares portfolios I wonder)? Tescos well done - will the rest comply with reason and justice?

Updates

2020-12-14 10:51:04 +0000

Petition is successful with 11,577 signatures

2020-12-03 10:55:16 +0000

The pressure is on! Following yesterday's announcement from Tesco and Morrisons to #HandBackTheCash, today Sainsburys and Aldi are returning their share. So far, that's £1.4bn of the total £2bn handout. As long as we keep the pressure up it's only a matter of time before Lidl and Asda follow suit.

Please continue to share the petition with your friends and family!

2020-11-30 18:38:15 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

2020-11-26 13:57:44 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2020-11-25 14:53:47 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2020-11-25 14:21:54 +0000

500 signatures reached

2020-11-25 14:06:48 +0000

100 signatures reached

2020-11-25 14:04:51 +0000

50 signatures reached

2020-11-23 08:59:33 +0000

25 signatures reached

2020-11-19 16:33:48 +0000

10 signatures reached