PracticeConsultingRetailer blames government tax regime for ‘rip-off’ accusations

Retailer blames government tax regime for 'rip-off' accusations

Kingfisher has hit back at government claims that profiteering retailers are ripping off customers by producing research which shows higher taxes account for the greater proportion of price differences between Britain and the US.

According to reports this morning, the research, which was carried out for Kingfisher by PricewaterhouseCoopers, suggests profits play almost no part in explaining the price gap.

Designed to pre-empt bad publicity expected when the government publishes a survey of international price comparisons, the Kingfisher survey found British prices were between 9% and 38% higher than in the US but that VAT of 17.5% compared with US sales tax of 4%, accounts for between 32% and 113% of the price difference.

The study compared the prices of goods sold by Kingfisher’s British outlets which include B&Q, Comet and Woolworth, with those charged by their US counterparts.

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