A promise has been made by Jake Berry, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, to extend the Digital Services Tax to include a 2% charge on online retail.
Answering questions on the Future High Streets Fund in the House of Commons last week, Berry pledged that the government would bring forward its own 2% tax on online retail announced at the last Budget, if an international agreement on the issue couldn’t be reached.
“The government have been clear that online taxation in retail needs to be done as part of an international agreement, but we have also been clear that, if we cannot get such an agreement, we will come forward with our own 2% tax on online retail to ensure that we can continue, as we did in the last Budget, to give relief to those retailing on our high streets,” sad Berry.
The announcement comes just after a month after the publication of a report which called for an online tax to “level the playing field” for high street retailers by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee.
During the autumn Budget, Philip Hammond proposed plans for a Digital Services Tax, effectively known as the ‘Amazon Tax,’ revealing to some extent the grip the etail giant has on the UK’s retail sector.
However, Lib Deg MP Tim Farron described the tax as “puny” and that it was “an insult to shops on the high street.” Farron also added that the Lib Dems would “support higher taxes on tax-dodgers.”