Retailers act like political barons, claims Salmond

Alex Salmond has lambasted the UK's biggest supermarkets as the new "barons of politics" after the Members of the Scottish Parliament last week voted against a punitive special tax increase for large retailers that was intended to raise £30m.

Asked why opposition parties – except the Greens – had rejected the plans, the First Minister, of the Scottish National Party, said: "The supermarkets have the most enormous lobbying power. I think they are the barons of politics." Labour, Liberal Democrat and the Conservatives did not support the plans, which caused some supermarkets, such as Sainsbury's, to warn they might rethink their expansion plans for Scotland. The Large Retailer Levy would have applied to all stores in Scotland with a rateable value of more than £750,000 from April.