It is clear that the current tax system is outdated. Multinational online monoliths like Amazon can get away with paying nothing, or next to nothing, in tax, leaving brick and mortar retailers at a significant disadvantage and HMRC out of pocket.
The retail landscape has changed, but the law has not kept up, because of a chronic under-funding of HMRC and the impressive economic gymnastics of multinational corporations such as Amazon. This must change if we are to keep what is left of our high streets.
I believe that the so-called ‘Amazon Tax’ would be a great start, and would help level the retail playing field by taxing online platform businesses, based on value generated. I am not alone in this belief, as over 260,000 people have signed a petition calling for the introduction of the ‘Amazon Tax’.
However, I believe that more must be done. This should include: reversing the cuts to HMRC and restoring staffing numbers with an additional £200 million of funding, closing tax loopholes, and tackling tax avoidance through a Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme.
I have written to the Chancellor and called on him to implement the ‘Amazon Tax’, as well as the measures I have listed above.
Tax avoidance and the dominance of multinational corporations are two of the gravest spectres that haunt our country. I can assure you that I will continue to do all I can to combat them, and to raise my concerns with the Government whenever possible.