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  • Writer's picturedavid Tanswell

Online retailers show little sympathy for the high street, says Commercial Property Advisors (CPA).

Commercial Property Advisors (CPA) , specialists in business rates reductions, regards as irresponsible those bodies, like the British Retail Consortium and sundry ecommerce consultants, which urge government to reject outright an online sales tax.

Arguments that this tax would not automatically help the high street ignore the benefits that a simple reprieve from punishing levels of business rates would confer on bricks and mortar firms.

More generally, these "digi-free" arguments wilfully ignore the inconvenient truth that revenue from efficient taxation has never been more necessary, for the UK to "build back better", after the ravages of the pandemic.

What the special pleading of online supporters does indicate is that they have formed themselves into a powerful lobby group, only too happy to see digital growth at the expense of the high street.

And the age-old refrain, that an online sales tax would merely be passed on to the customer is a generalised whinge common to every taxpayer everywhere.

These objectors' arguments would lose credibility if government were to publicly hypothecate just a small proportion of the digital tax revenue for the physical regeneration of the high street- a unique example of eye-catching improvements, at the expense of fat cats who have got all the cream to date, without leaving even a drop for retail buildings in a state of visible decline and even collapse.

Taxation for the NHS has always enjoyed public support.

Why not a "Retail Health Tax?"

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