Something sensible at last


In a letter to the chief executives of six online retailers, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said the Government favoured “an approach which aims to ensure common principles apply to all businesses whether operating online, from physical premises or with a combination”.

The letter is a response to the bosses of Ocado, N Brown, Shop Direct, Boden, Appliances Online and notonthehighstreet.com, who wrote to the Treasury last month warning that an online sales tax would damage a flourishing sector in the UK and hamper job creation.

Business rates are a tax upon the use of land. If you\’re not using land why should you be paying business rates? And why should you have to pay another tax just because you\’re not using land?

8 thoughts on “Something sensible at last”

  1. “Business rates are a tax upon the use of land.”
    Really? Then the rates on an office in the Shard would be minimal because so little land is used?
    Business rates are just another of the spectrum of ways the State gets its claws into commerce & people. In this case it’s the excuse that a business uses land. So taxing a business for not using land is entirely logical.

  2. Don’t be thick. The rental value of the land the Shard is built on is far higher than that of Middlesborough’s high street.

  3. “why should you have to pay another tax just because you’re not using land?”

    Because powerful businesses who donate lots of cash to politicians pay tax on using land?

  4. Those using land gain a benefit from using it. Those of us operating from a house have a lot less space and inefficencies in our sales because we don’t have the land. Get a unit, pay a few grand business rates, can increase efficiency and therefore sell more in a given time.

  5. Jason, the rental value of the land the Shard is built on is higher than that of the whole of Middlesborough.

  6. @ jason. Well, it would be interesting to see the rates income of each m2 of the Shard’s footprint set against the kiosk on the corner of London Wall ( is that still there?)
    Which should prove the point. It’s not a tax on _land_, it’s just another tax on business activity.

  7. @BIS, @Jason

    £Nothing. Google “business rates” office “the shard” (with quotation marks).

    All of the links state that no business rates have been paid.

    Obviously that doesn’t invalidate your statements, as it will change at some future point.

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