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UK retail king Tesco says to repay virus tax relief

LONDON: Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco on Wednesday 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 three 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 UK will begin receiving a Covid vaccine. | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.