Icelandic supermarket boss calls for digital tax on online giants to save the high street

A supermarket boss believes that High Street can be destroyed if digital sales are not taxed.

Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, wants to change online sales to “outdated and Victorian” business rates.

Bricks and motor shops are believed to pay more in corporate taxes and national insurance premiums for employees than online companies.

There are also additional costs in stores to run a campus.

Mr Walker said: “I think we need a digital sales tax, a business with a very strong online business. I want you to completely change business rates.

“But there has to be some form of restructuring online because otherwise we will be killed from the high street.”

His call comes after he was criticized for having Iceland trade rate relief last fiscal year, despite continuing to trade as an essential retailer during the lockout period.

Last year the Chancellor announced a business rate holiday for retailers

At the start of the epidemic, the Chancellor announced a business-rate holiday for retailers this year, but more than $ 2 billion in relief was provided by some supermarkets that saw high customer demand.

Mr Walker said Iceland was right to seek relief at the time, but did not take the extended tax relief announced by the government in February.

“We believe we have come to the right conclusion,” he said.

“You see some companies that have made payments like Asta and Sainsbury – and then they announced thousands of job cuts. Because of that relief, we can protect jobs, that’s what was given to this sector. In fact, we were able to create jobs.

“So now, we felt we didn’t need extra support, so we wouldn’t take the extension.”

Pedestrians walking down a high street with shops closed in Midstone
Pedestrians walking down a high street with shops closed in Midstone

The Mirror Store for Britain’s campaign is urging retailers to fight back when non-essential retailers reopen on Monday. Retailers have lost $ 30 billion in sales and thousands of stores have been closed due to the epidemic.

A Mirror poll found that 73 percent of those questioned were concerned about the future of their local stores and other businesses.

But the Delta Poll survey found that 29 percent of people plan to visit stores in the first week of reopening – but it rises to 62 percent in the first month.

But 9 percent said they never thought of going back to the shops.

Shop owners have been telling shoppers this week: “Use us or lose us.”

Traditional retailers online only pay more at business rates than competitors.

According to a study by Think-Tank Doxwatch last year, five of the largest technology companies operating in the UK made a net profit of 1.8.1 billion from British customers in 2018.

Yet in the UK they paid only $ 237 million in taxes on these profits – an excellent tax rate of just 2.9 per cent.

In February, high street leaders, along with supermarket bosses, called for a change in the tax system to put digital retailers such as President Rishi Chunky Amazon on the “level playground”.

Tesco has also advanced in demanding a 1 percent online sales tax.

Khair Stormer called for online retailers to be properly taxed
Khair Stormer called for online retailers to be properly taxed

Last month Labor leader Khair Stormer said Amazon and other technology companies should adjust business rates and tax regularly to make way for high street stores.

He said: “The epidemic has made it even harder for the highways, so we need them to survive and thrive. If that happens then action is needed. ”

Amazon and other major online retailers claim to pay all the required taxes in the UK and other countries where they operate.

Sophia Harrison

Part time worker

I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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