Tucked away in the fine print of the last Budget is the proposal to introduce a digital sales tax.
Aimed at businesses with revenues in excess of £25million per annum, it is designed to raise at least £500m. in its first year.
Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) welcomes this attempt to redress the balance between virtual stores and bricks and mortar operations, provided that:
-firstly, the tax should be explicitly earmarked (hypothecated) for initiatives which regenerate the high street, and:
secondly, that the impact of the tax revenue be felt locally, in facelifts for our shops, jaded as a result of a slow decline in footfall and profitability.
Local impacts are best judged by local, community-based consortia of Chambers of Commerce and local government, under the aegis of a nationally-respected body like the British Retail Consortium.
Cash awards for the most imaginative proposals should be accompanied by a "kite-mark" of quality, which could also serve as a vote of confidence in traditional retail's ability to re-gain its erstwhile vitality .