MP pushes Government to tax online giants to help save the high street
On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Government to help save the high street by taxing internet companies more to fund cuts to high street business rates.
Speaking during Communities and Local Government Questions, Tim said: "This Government's plans for a puny 2% digital tax on mega online firms who avoid paying their fair share is an insult to shops on the high street in towns like Grange, Windermere and Kendal.
"Will the minister support higher taxes on tax dodgers that would raise enough money to slash business rates for our town centres and help to save our high streets?"
In response the Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said that the Government believes that online taxation in retail should be done through "international agreements", but stressed that if they are unsuccessful with this they would introduce their own 2% tax to give "relief to those retailing on our high street".
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "It doesn't make any sense that our local hard-working businesses are forced to pay through the nose, while mega online retailers can get away with paying next to no tax at all.
"Taxing big online companies more to give the a much-needed tax break to local firms would be a great common-sense solution to help our struggling high streets."