Andy Street (ex-John Lewis boss) calls for more tax on online retailers and suggests revitalising town centres by creating free-trade zones.
These free-trade zones would have additional policing, enhanced infrastructure and public realm improvements and would grant the local authority powers to reduce business rates and relax planning rules. All of this, Street suggests, could be funded by higher taxes on online businesses.
Could this be one of the the answers to the challenges business rates, oversupply of space and under investment in the high street pose for "offline" retailers?
“This system is past its sell by date,” Street told MPs on the Treasury select committee. “It was designed in 1990 when businesses made money in a very different way.”