Asda Boss calls for business rate action

Asda says it is being forced to pass price fluctuations on to consumers Photo: Myung Jung Kim/PA Archive/Press Association Images

On tonight's News at Ten we see the last in our series hearing from members of the ITV News Business Club on what they believe would really get the economy growing again.

Andy Clarke, the boss of Asda, which sees 20 million customers walk through its doors every week, tonight urges the government to freeze business rates.

He warns that another increase would make it much harder for retailers to keep prices down. "I'm a shopkeeper," he says, adding "retailers are the voice of the consumer".

As consumers are having to deal with higher fuel and utility bills, his business is having to deal with other increasing costs like wheat prices too.

In his view, neither businesses nor consumers could deal with any new costs on top of that.

To keep consumers spending he has to keep prices down, and to be able to do that he calls for a "level of taxation that enables us to be grown and not have to pass it onto our customers."

We have seen quite significant tax changes ... and that puts pressure on how we manage our costs ...

If the government were to freeze rates that would allow us to continue to invest and do our part in growing our economy.

– Andy Clarke, CEO, asda

Hear the views from other members of the Business Club:

Jam-maker Clippy McKenna.

Watch our report on the News at Ten on ITV1.