Watford Liberal Democrats call for level playing field for local shops with online retailers

Watford Liberal Democrats are supporting calls for a ‘level playing field’ in the taxes paid by local shops and online retailers. The call comes after major UK supermarkets lobbied for a 1 per cent sales tax to be levied on online stores including Amazon.

Peter Taylor, Elected Mayor of Watford, said “The Liberal Democrats have long been calling for better support for our high streets and town centres and this tax would provide the funding to do so. If we could ring-fence the money that is created through this levy to support the recovery of our high streets it would go a long way to restoring our town centres and protecting so many at risk jobs.

“We also need to make it easier for new retailers and businesses to set up, just as we have done in Watford with the introduction of the WhatsApp High Street and our Shop Local campaign.”

Ian Stotesbury, Councillor for Callowland Ward, said,

“The current system is simply not fair. It hits local shops and means many online retailers don’t pay their fair share. It’s time that shops based online, such as Amazon, pay a fair amount of tax and local shops have a chance to compete successfully. It’s really important the government makes changes in this area so that local businesses are able to compete. The Government should go further and look to simplify and make fairer business rates to stimulate investment and lead international efforts to properly tax multinationals fairly.”