The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, has told Sky News that he is considering the introduction of an 'Amazon Tax'.
The tax is a result of British consumers changing their shopping habits, and Hammond has said that the UK has "the biggest percentage of online shopping of any major developed economy. That means the high street will change.
"We're very clear that you have to support the high street through that process of change."
The 'Amazon Tax'
The tax, dubbed the ‘Amazon Tax’, will be implemented for online businesses, which have historically paid less than high street operators due to the lack of physical assets.
"We want to ensure that taxation is fair between businesses doing business the traditional way and those doing business online," he said.
"That requires us to renegotiate international tax treaties because many of the big online businesses are international companies.
"If we can't get international agreement to do this we may have to look at temporary tax measures to rebalance the playing field until we can get international agreements."
Former Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King made similar calls during the week, and he said Amazon should pay its “fair share of tax” to even the market for the traditional bricks and mortar retailers.
The UK high streets have seen an increasing amount of store closures due to increased costs and slower sales.
Poundworld, a discount retailer in the UK, went into administration earlier in the year. The chain, however, was recently taken over by the Irish-based Henderson family.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.