Dec 3, 2018

Mike Ashley calls for 20% tax on online sales

Mike Ashley, the chief executive of Sports Direct, told MPs that they should impose a 20 per cent tax on online sales in a bid to save bricks-and-mortar stores. Mr Ashley proposed a 20 per cent tax on the online sales of those retailers for whom online revenue accounts for more than 20 per cent of the total, cheerfully admitting that this would hurt his own company. "You have to tax the internet for the good of the high street. Tax the web boys 20 per cent. And I've already said I have a £400m online business, so that's going to be a big bill," he said, urging lawmakers to do "Something cataclysmic" that would force even Amazon to invest in physical retail. The British Retail Consortium has also rejected the idea of a blanket tax on online sales. Asked whether the social impact of closing stores kept him awake at night, he scoffed that he only thought about such things during working hours and decisions on store closures were taken by a wider group of people.

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