Chancellor flirts with UK 'digital tax' to level retail playing field

Chancellor considers levelling UK retail playing field with ‘digital tax’

UK chancellor Phillip Hammond is actively considering the implementation of a digital tax as part of efforts to level the playing field with bricks and mortar retail stores, which must pay high business rates.

British High Street’s have been decimated in recent years by a migration of customers online as physical outlets struggle to match prices with their online competitors who do not carry the same overheads.

Addressing the issue directly Hammond said he would ‘find a better way of taxing the digital economy’ in response to increasingly vociferous protests from retailers.

The comments were reported in a letter to MPs seen by The Telegraph but while the chancellor appears ready to increase his tax take from digital businesses he is less keen to reduce business rates, warning that they were vital in providing funding for local government.

Retailers have been knocked for six in recent months with Toys R Us, House of Fraser and Poundworld.

Hammond has previously flirted with the imposition of a 'tech tax' to claw back cash from the massive revenues generated by the likes of Facebook and Google.

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