Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco on Wednesday, December 2, said it had decided to repay tax relief received this year as part of government help for coronavirus-battered businesses.
The supermarket giant will repay £585 million ($783 million, 652 million euros) in tax relief on commercial property.
Tesco added that it had spent £725 million on a company-wide response to the emergency pandemic, including the creation of 16,000 jobs to meet booming online demand.
The British government launched unprecedented support measures to combat devastating economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, including business tax relief and private-sector wage subsidies.
At the same time, the nation’s supermarkets have enjoyed surging online food sales, particularly during the first strict lockdown that began in late March and lasted for nearly 3 months.
“Ten months into the pandemic, our business has proven resilient in the most challenging of circumstances,” Tesco said in a statement on Wednesday.
It noted it had been able to keep its stores open during the crisis and that some of the potential risks faced earlier in the year are now behind it.
“We remain absolutely committed to doing the right thing by our customers, colleagues, and all our stakeholders,” Tesco added.
“We are therefore announcing that we will return to the public the business rates relief received in full.”
England on Wednesday exited a second lockdown, but most of the country remained under strict restrictions as a new regional system for cutting coronavirus infection rates kicked in.
Meanwhile from next week, people across the United Kingdom will begin receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. – Rappler.com