As a retired Chartered Accountant I have been thinking about how the Government is going to pay back the vast economic Covid support package. It has happened on this generation‚’s watch and we should not be mortgaging our children‚’s future with it. I‚’m sure the Chancellor is looking at a range of options to avoid this but I wanted to make the brief case for an additional sales tax ( ‚’ Covid economic recovery tax‚’ (CERT)) The UK amongst other countries has been moving rapidly to buy more on line. That is not going to reverse.
But e-businesses have a significant trading advantage over bricks and mortar traders by not having a high street presence and therefore pay lower business rates, if any at all. It is time to level up the playing field otherwise the High Street will all but disappear.
So why not introduce ‚’CERT‚’ in the March 2021 Budget of 5% on all on-line retail sales but excluding food, children‚’s clothes etc basically following the exemptions under VAT? It would generate significant revenue for the Government. Also as it is only payable on on-line sales consumers have the choice of going to the High Street to save that 5%. This will bring some shoppers back to our Town centres.