Mark Williams, Executive Director of RivingtonHark and other CEOs of major food stores call for an urgent change to the rating system.

RivingtonHark and a string of other retailers; Shop workers Union and landlords  have united to demand a “level playing field” in the tax system as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on high street jobs.

Ahead of the chancellor’s budget next month, the letter to Rishi Sunak warned that 15,000 jobs had already been lost this year in the retail sector and there would be “many more to come” without a string of reforms.

The executives and leaders of 18 firms including Asda, Tesco Pets at Home , RivingtonHark and Hammerson, argued online retailers should pay similar levels of tax to brick and mortar firms. They called for a permanent reduction in business rates as part of the shake-up.

A rates holiday, initiated by the chancellor last year to help retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, is due to expire at the end of March.

The letter said: “Reducing business rates for retailers and rebalancing the tax system to ensure online retailers pay a fair share of tax would be revenue-neutral, provide a vital boost to bricks and mortar retailers and support communities in need of levelling up.”

Mark Williams, Director of RivingtonHark commented: “The Rating system and its impact is damaging the health and well being of this sector. Put simply, there needs to be a level playing field between bricks and mortar occupiers and on line retail, otherwise there will be no high street to collect any form of tax.”