Scottish legislators have thrown out plans for a levy on large retailers dubbed the ‘Tesco tax’.

The Large Retailer Levy proposal would have seen supermarkets, large high-street shops and out-of-town shopping centres in Scotland pay an additional tax on top of their existing business rates.

Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat MSPs combined to reject the SNP’s proposal by 68 votes to 46. The decision comes after a committee on local government last week voted to scrap the tax and leaves a £30m hole in finance secretary John Swinney’s budget.

Critics of the plan claimed it would jeopardise 8,000 jobs and future investment north of the border.

Fiona Moriarty of the Scottish Retail Consortium said “common sense had prevailed”. “The fact this ill-conceived levy has been stopped will come as a huge relief to everyone who cares about Scotland’s economic prosperity,” she said.

“Retail drives economic recovery and provides communities with jobs and services. Given the right support, it will help Scotland towards a secure and successful future.”

Read more
Retailers welcome backdown on levy (29 January 2011)
Scots assembly throws out minimum pricing plan (11 November 2010)