The UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has said he is considering the introduction of what has been dubbed an 'Amazon Tax', aimed at levelling the playing field in the retail sector.
Speaking to Sky News, Hammond said that British consumers have "changed their shopping habits", noting 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."
Rebalance The Market
According to the news portal, Hammond is considering the introduction of a new set of taxes for online businesses, which historically have paid less than their high street competitors, owing to their 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."
Hammond's comments echo the call made earlier this week by former Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King, who called on Amazon to pay its "fair share of tax" in order to even the market for traditional bricks and mortar retailers.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.