Hammond mulls 'Amazon tax' to counter high street woes

Chancellor Philip Hammond considering 'Amazon tax' for online retailers

Philip Hammond is considering the introduction of a so-called "Amazon tax" that would impose charges on online retailers in an attempt to rescue Britain's struggling high street.

The Chancellor said taxation needs to be "fair" between traditional retailers and online firms - including negotiating worldwide rules for web retailers. The government legislation is not keeping up with the change in technology.

Mr Hammond's comments come as high street retailers reel under pressure from soaring costs, including business rates.

Mr Paphitis responded: "Taxation as it stands. does not work with the way technology is moving".

"More and more of us are buying online".

Today's £51 million investment for Wales will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future and the better, highly-paid jobs we all want to see. "There's going to be less retail, more leisure, bars, community facilities", he said.

House of Fraser was bought out of administration by Mike Ashley's Sports Direct on Friday and is the latest in a long line of well-known names to hit trouble.

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Going into further detail on the potential move, Hammond said that if necessary, the United Kingdom could go ahead with a temporary new tax measure, to help support traditional high street retailers and ensure online etailers, pay a fair share.

"If we can't get worldwide agreement to do this we may have to look at temporary tax measures to rebalance the playing field until we can get global agreements".

"That's certainly something we'd be prepared to consider".

The Chancellor made the announcement during a visit to the West Midlands on the day GDP figures showed the United Kingdom economy has grown by 0.4 per cent.

"Clearly that uncertainty is having a depressing effect on the economy", he said, adding that the Chequers deal for a future relationship was the "best way forward".

Hammond also called for the European Union member states to accept Prime Minister Theresa May's Chequers deal, saying it was a "fair and sensible and pragmatic offer" to the bloc that will allow the government to deliver on the result of the referendum, "taking back control of our borders for immigration, allowing us to develop our own trade policy, ending the sending of large amounts of money to Brussels every year".

"It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future".

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