Windfall Tax (Retail Corporations)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd February 2021.

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Photo of Mr Mark Ruskell Mr Mark Ruskell Green

While we see growing numbers of empty shop units across Scotland, retail giants such as Amazon and the supermarkets have seen vastly increased profits over the past year and have actually benefited from the Covid restrictions. Does the First Minister support a windfall tax on those corporations, to help to fund the recovery package for our high streets? Have discussions been held with the United Kingdom Government about that?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

Discussions are held with the UK Government on all sorts of things. I have not personally had that discussion, but I am sure that there have been discussions of that nature.

I am open minded on any way in which we can make sure that those who have benefited the most from the situation that we have been living through do more to share the burden with those who have really suffered. That is why I welcomed the fact that some of the main supermarkets gave back to Government the money that they had saved from business rates relief, which is allowing us to extend the business rates relief for some really hard-hit sectors for an extra three months.

As a principle, those with the broadest shoulders should bear the biggest burden. We will continue to have those discussions, although we all have a part to play during these times in trying as far as we can to support local businesses and our high streets and give our custom to those who need it most.