Plans to introduce an online sales tax have split opinion across retail prompting concerns this could force the government to abandon them.
Leaders from some of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Amazon and Asda, are to hold talks with a Treasury minister Lucy Frazer today (Wednesday) as fears grow that the government will halt any plans to bring in an online sales tax.
Retail executives will meet with Ms Frazer, financial secretary to the Treasury, to make their case for reform of the business rates system and the introduction of an online sales tax, according to Sky News.
Since the government’s consultation on such a tax closed last month, retail has been divided on the matter with businesses such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, The Co-op, Morrisons and Kingfisher forming the the Retail Jobs Alliance, which is pro online tax, while John Lewis Partnership, M&S and Currys have argued against introducing the tax.
According to Retail Gazette, retailers expected to attend the meeting include Tesco UK and Ireland CEO Jason Tarry, Asos CFO Mathew Dunn, Amazon’s UK country manager, John Boumphrey, and Currys boss Alex Baldock.
A Treasury spokesman said: “We recently completed our Business Rates Review which led to £7bn of support to reduce the burden of rates over the next five years and brought about reforms which will make the system fairer. We have not decided whether to proceed with an online sales tax. The purpose of the recent consultation was to consider the design options and economic impacts of such a tax, and explore the arguments for and against.”