Asda has joined the rush of supermarkets handing back their business rate relief back.
Asda has just announced that it will pay its business rates of £340m in full to the UK Government and devolved administrations, waiving the relief granted back in March.
That means all the UK’s Big Four supermarkets have now decided to waive the money, taking the total over £1.7bn.
In a statement, Asda says the relief was ‘vital’ in helping it keep the nation fed, shield vulnerable colleagues and invest in Covid-19 protection.
But it now wants the money to go to those who “need to most”.
Asda President and CEO Roger Burnley says: “Throughout the pandemic we have always sought to do the right thing – fulfilling our role in feeding the nation, protecting our colleagues and supporting our communities.
“But, as the hope of a vaccine and a more ‘normal’ life returning in 2021 grows, we have confidence that we are in a strong position to again do the right thing for the communities we serve. Almost half our customers are telling us they expect their financial position to worsen in the next 12 months and we recognise that there are other industries and businesses for whom the effects of Covid-19 will be much more long lasting and whose survival is essential to thousands of jobs.
“We will therefore be discussing with the Government and Devolved Authorities the best mechanism to ensure the relief we have received can go towards helping those that need it most.”