Housing, communities and local government minister Jake Berry has promised the government will tax online retailers to help high street shops.
During a parliamentary session in the House of Commons last week, he stated: “The government has been clear that online taxation in retail needs to be done as part of an international agreement, but we have also been clear that, if we cannot get such an agreement, we will come forward with our own 2% tax on online retail to ensure that we can continue, as we did in the last Budget, to give relief to those retailing on our high streets.
“This year we have already slashed a third off business rates of shops with a rateable value of under £51,000.”
The pledge comes after chancellor Philip Hammond warned that the UK would “go it alone” and introduce a digital sales tax on online retailers to level the playing field for bricks-and-mortar retailers in October.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary inquiry by the housing, communities and local government select committee proposed the introduction of an online sales tax in February.