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

Supermarket CEOs, hand back the cash!

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.

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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Updates

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

25 signatures reached

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

10 signatures reached