Sainsbury's boss calls for NI cut to reduce jobless and help recovery

 

The chief executive of Sainsbury's has urged the Chancellor to reduce the burden of national insurance to help boost job creation and the economic recovery.

Justin King, who took the helm in March 2004, also said he had no plans to step down in the next 12 months from Sainsbury's, as he unveiled a rise in half-year sales and profits ahead of its listed rivals, Morrisons and Tesco.

Ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement next month, Mr King called national insurance a "tax on jobs".

He said: "Nothing does more for the health of the economy than having more people in jobs – it builds confidence, reduces the burden of unemployment on the state and increases retail expenditure. It is up to the Government to decide the best way to achieve it, but one option could be a national insurance holiday on new jobs for 12 months."

Sainsbury's, which has 1,063 stores, said it is creating 20,000 seasonal jobs over Christmas, with 2,000 of those hired expected to be kept on permanently.

Following recent speculation on his own role, Mr King said he had no plans to step down over the next 12 months.

He said: "I do understand why, when someone's been in a job for eight years successfully, people think they'd have on their mind doing something else, but I'm very happy at Sainsbury's."

Interim pre-tax profits at the grocer rose by 5.4 per cent to £373m over the 28 weeks to 29 September, as total sales rose 4 per cent to £13.37bn.

Mr King said it had outperformed the grocery market, boosted by its sponsorship of the Paralympics and strong growth at its smaller convenience stores, online grocery operation and general merchandise business.

While it remains less profitable than Morrisons and Tesco in the UK, Sainsbury's underlying sales rose by 1.7 per cent in its first half, capping 31 consecutive quarters of growth.

Mr King said: "We represent nearly all of the growth in the market. We have the fastest level of growth of any of our competitors."

Sainsbury's underlying sales in the second quarter rose by 1.9 per cent, beating rivals Morrisons, which saw a 2.1 per cent fall, and the market leader Tesco, which recorded just 0.1per cent growth.

Neil Saunders, the managing director of the retail consultancy Conlumino, said: "Sainsbury's continues to successfully steer between delivering good-quality food and promoting compelling, value-for-money messages. Charting such a course sounds easy in theory but, as both Tesco and more recently Morrisons have found to their cost, it is difficult to execute well."

Mr King also hailed the contribution from its "brand match" price initiative, which gives customers a money-off coupon at the till if the branded products in their basket would have been cheaper at Tesco and Asda.

During the half year, Sainsbury's opened five supermarkets and 49 convenience stores and extended three stores.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Helpdesk Analyst

£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...

Senior Helpdesk Analyst / Service Desk Co-ordinator

£27000 per annum + pension, 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ind...

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Administrator

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Corporate Actions Administrator / Operations Admini...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London