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Online sales tax aims to ‘shift balance’ as UK high streets struggle

Treasury looks at options as physical shops face dual threat of retail internet and Covid pandemic

The UK Treasury is exploring options for an online sales tax in response to an explosion in internet shopping, as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates the closure of high street shops across the country.

Officials said the Treasury was weighing changes to “shift the balance” between spending online and in physical shops, amid concerns in government over the impact for communities as more shops pull down their shutters for the last time.

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