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Tesco's Dave Lewis calls for 'Amazon Tax' for goods sold online

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis has called for the introduction of an “Amazon Tax” for online retail businesses to help struggling high street stores.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Tesco's Dave Lewis calls for 'Amazon Tax' for goods sold online

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis has called for the introduction of an “Amazon Tax” for online retail businesses to help struggling high street stores.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Lewis said the chancellor Philip Hammond should introduce a 2% charge on goods sold online and that the time had come to “shift the burden of raising the country’s income” from physical store chains. He also called for the money raised to be used to give retailers a tax break.

In addition, Lewis told of how retailers are suffering due to rising costs, including wages, and fierce competition from online businesses.

Lewis added: "Three years ago I talked about a potential lethal cocktail of pressures in the retail industry and now you are seeing that come to fruition.

“Has the government thought through what happens when retail starts to decline and if the job losses start to become significant?”

The comments will be seen as a major boost for The Mail on Sunday's Fair Play on Tax campaign which was launched last week.

Lewis did not reveal whether there had been any communication with the government on the matter, but The Mail on Sunday said it was understood that Whitehall was aware of his views.

The news follows Hammond conceding at last week’s Conservative Party conference that the government may need to start imposing some sort of digital services tax on companies such as Amazon and Google. 

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