Scotland to axe public health tax on supermarkets

10 January, 2014

Scotland will axe the public health supplement tax it imposes on supermarkets that sell alcohol and tobacco when it expires in 2015.

The Scottish government announced it never intended the levy to be permanent.

It was introduced in 2012 and levied on 240 large stores, and government finance secretary John Swinney said it will have raised £95 million by the time it concludes next year.

The Scottish Retail Consortium’s director David Lonsdale said: “It has been an unprecedented and iniquitous tax which has targeted one part of a single sector and has acted as disincentive to invest in Scottish communities, leaving Scotland at a competitive disadvantage.”

Asda also welcomed the news, with head of corporate affairs Paul Kelly adding: “We are delighted that the Scottish government has recognised how unfair this levy was in penalising large retailers.”

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