Look out, a conspiracy for a new tax

The chief executive of Britain’s fourth biggest supermarket, which is launching a joint venture with Ocado in the new year, has said that the tax imbalance between internet and high street retailers is illogical and is damaging Britain’s town centres. He has joined other top retailers in demanding a sales tax on online retailers.

“We’re moving into the online space, so we’ll have to pay our contribution,” Mr Philips told The Daily Telegraph. “As a country, we need to look at how we’re going to tax retailers in general wherever they operate, because we’ve all got to contribute to society, but one can’t be disadvantaged over the other.”

They\’re talking about the fact that as bricks and mortar retailers pay business rates then therefore internet retailers should be hit with some sort of tax.

But internet retailers also pay business rates. They just use a lot less land than bricks and mortar retailers. And given that business rates are, to a close approximation, a tax upon the use and position of land, it\’s right that those who use less and less valuable land should pay less in tax upon the land being used.

This is just the incumbents looking for protection against their competition. Fuck \’em.

9 thoughts on “Look out, a conspiracy for a new tax”

  1. My favourite was a couple of weeks ago when the noted taxpayer Sir Phillip Green, husband of the noted taxpayer Lady Green, complained about online not paying as much business rates.

  2. Pat is right… “Save Our High Streets”…

    The best (only?) way to save those shops you seem to care so much about is to use them. If all the “Savers-of-High-Streets” spent as much time shopping in them as trying to save them, then they wouldn’t need saving.

    Of course, what the savers actually want is a boutique/ artisan / specialist butcher / baker / candlestick-maker they can buy stuff from once every 6 months so they can boast about “our wonderful local sausages” when their friends come to visit.

    The rest of the time, of course, they go to Tesco / Waitrose / Ocado just like the rest of us.

  3. “Tax imbalance”. No you fuckin wanker, having higher costs and being less efficient is a commercial imbalance, one brought back to equilibrium by you clsing stores because you can’t compete.
    I await Ritchie’s brilliant new tax idea. Someone tell him LVT has the benefit of cleansing the High Street of deadwood and take a photo when you do.

  4. And if they did not pay tax wouldn’t their rent/land price just go up by the same amount as they have are allready decided that they will pay that cost in doing buisiness at those locations.

  5. High streets are horrible anyway. They all look the same, and there’s almost nothing there I want to buy that I can’t get off the internet more cheaply. I particularly despise the shops that rip out the ground floor of a nice old building and put in a huge glass window so we can see what they’re doing. I appreciate that some shops need to have a window display, sure, but not all of them. The local drycleaner, for example, doesn’t need to show me what he does. I know already, because I’m not a complete moron.

    I did go through a phase of supporting the local butcher and baker and fishmonger (no candlestick maker, and no call for one either) but then I got pissed off with their habit of keeping c.18th working hours, viz. opening after I leave for work and closing before I get back. I think I’m more than happy for the high st to be pubs and restaurants and barbers and other businesses that require your physical presence, and everything else online or out of town.

  6. Scrap the charity shop business rates discount. There, high street problem solved.

    Of course there would be a multitude of knock-on effects. Oxfam would have to pay full rates on its vast offices in Oxford. All those cultural charities in central London would face a huge tax bill. Look into it in some detail and you’ll notice that the charity discount is a vast subsidy to the middle-classes: hence the British Film Institute’s huge southbank cinema pays* 80% less in business rates than Odeon or Cineworld.

    (*I’m not an expert on tax, but I presume that if Save the Pets gets the discount, then so do e.g. the BFI, the Royal Society, and all the rest.)

  7. I wouldnt be too sarky about local butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Considering some of the crud that supermarkets now pass off as “food”, our family has been supporting farmers’ markets and local farm-produce shops for some while now…. ALL of whom (in my area, at least) open at weekends or certainly on Saturdays. I never buy vegetables or meat from the likes of Tesco, etc. and if loony ministers get their way, GM foods will soon be all you can get in supermarkets anyway. Stuff that.
    As for other goods, I can honestly say that we don’t use the Internet to purchase “just about everything else”. maybe we’re fortunate in our neck of the woods to still have decent local hardware shops, shoe shops and clothes stores.

  8. Andrew M

    Save the Pets gets a discount; Pets at Home doesn’t. So it’s cheaper to save them than to look after them in the first place. And so much better for the soul!!!

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