Response to Treasury Select Committee report on business rates

Thursday 31 October 2019

Chris Harris, Property Director at the John Lewis Partnership, said: "The Government should reform business taxation, which weighs heavy on businesses that employ a lot of people and use property. As a first step it should unblock the business rates appeals system. This is silted up with thousands of outstanding cases meaning that many retailers are paying too much in rates. 

An online sales tax is not the answer as it would be a tax on the growing part of the retail industry. For the high street to survive it needs successful retailers that respond to consumer demand through physical stores and online."


John Lewis Partnership taxes taxes paid in 2018/19:
Business Rates: £179m
Employer NICs: £118m
Corporation tax: £33m 


The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Started as a radical idea nearly a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with 81,500 employees who are all Partners in the business and share in its profits. The Partnership operates on strong democratic principles, which means that every Partner has a say in how the organisation is run. The business has annual gross sales of over £11.7bn, 394 shops and a leading online business. Its commercial strategy is focused on differentiation rather than scale, through investment in innovation and Partner led service.


John Lewis Partnership

Clayton Hirst

Partner & Group Head of Corporate Affairs
Tel: 020 7592 6199