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Internet Shopping Levy to Cut Congestion and Polution

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Internet Shopping Levy to Cut Congestion and Polution

Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:37
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Internet Shopping Levy to Cut Congestion and Polution

Internet shoppers could be hit by a compulsory delivery charge as part of a campaign to cut congestion and toxic emissions, The Times has learnt.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/w...tion-j7xm3b3bl

So we will all go out in our cars and do our shopping in person???* I'd like to know which brainless idiot came up with this idea, without working out how many cars this actually takes off the road in the first place.

* Those of you who can and are not having to shield.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:46
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One delivery driver can drop off 50-100 parcels a day in one round trip, with the goods having one layer of packing.

Instead, if you visit the shops, you have multiple trucks doing drop off to shops where they are unwrapped and put on display in buildings needing heating and lighting staffed by people who commute to work. Then 50-100 customers drive to the shops and buy them where they are wrapped before they drive them home and unwrap them again.

The cost of delivery is already built into the price which is paid for out of taxed income and taxed again with VAT.

A tax, however dressed up, is a tax. This is just a recognition of the fact that High St shops are dwindling and the government has to find a way to replace business rates and other taxes paid by those with others on internet sellers.

But remember, at the end of the day, the companies don’t pay the taxes - the customers do.

Last edited by ORAC; 29th Jun 2020 at 11:10.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:48
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An alternative interpretation is of course:-

ďThis Internet shopping is proving jolly popular. We really must think of some excuse to tax it more heavily, itís a cash cow just waiting to be milked donít you know?Ē
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 09:55
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
Internet shoppers could be hit by a compulsory delivery charge as part of a campaign to cut congestion and toxic emissions, The Times has learnt.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/w...tion-j7xm3b3bl

So we will all go out in our cars and do our shopping in person???* I'd like to know which brainless idiot came up with this idea, without working out how many cars this actually takes off the road in the first place.

* Those of you who can and are not having to shield.
Delivery already has a cost, it is included in the product price. Vehicles don't run themselves they require to be purchased, maintained, fueled and driven. A former boss of mine said "there's no such thing as free delivery", if you're giving away that service, without adding it in somewhere else you're simply cutting your margin.

That said, there is always an issue, particularly in the run up to Christmas, and more recently during the early part of the lockdown where too many vans are clogging up residential street, driven often irresponsibly, and parked stupidly (often illegally). There are reasons for this, apart from the stereotypical behaviour of "white van man", and this is the ludicrous amount of collections and deliveries put on to these drivers by the parcels carriers and retailers that forces these situations.

I am quite happy to pay a delivery charge, and have done so several times during the lockdown. If a retailer wants to charge me £3.50 for delivering, I can weigh that up against driving 5 miles to their shop and doing click and collect. Using the HMRC mileage rates, 10 miles (5 x 2) will cost me £4.50 - so i'm quids in already, then there's my time queuing at 2 metres separation, which may mean I'm spending 15 - 20 minutes waiting to get to pick up my item in the first place. How much does my time cost? Let's assume I'm on mimimum wage (which I'm not!), approx £9 per hour, so that 15 minutes is another £2.25. All makes the £3.50 delivery charge seem very good value for money.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:07
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Delivery already has a cost, it is included in the product price. Vehicles don't run themselves they require to be purchased, maintained, fueled and driven. A former boss of mine said "there's no such thing as free delivery", if you're giving away that service, without adding it in somewhere else you're simply cutting your margin.
Shops/Stores have a cost. They don't run themselves they require to be purchased/leased/rented, maintained, heated, lit and staffed, the cost of which is likely to be higher than a distribution centre and the associated delivery drivers. If there were not benefits to the home delivery model, no one would do it.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:18
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A better way for the Treasury to collect income would be to tax the profits from e.g. Amazon on goods that they sell here. I'm as guilty as anyone in using them because they are so damned convenient, but I do resent their paying tax in Luxembourg instead of here.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:23
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
Shops/Stores have a cost. They don't run themselves they require to be purchased/leased/rented, maintained, heated, lit and staffed, the cost of which is likely to be higher than a distribution centre and the associated delivery drivers. If there were not benefits to the home delivery model, no one would do it.
Surely there's a benefit to the online retailers, and often the online prices are lower than prices in the shops. The premium is on convenience, and for the reasons I stated going out to the shops, particularly if it's just for one item is not cost effective against paying a comparatively small delivery charge. The move towards online and home delivery I think is as much customer driven, as it is retailer driven. The catalyst was probably the expansion of Amazon in the market, and of course they have the added advantage of getting around (allegedly legally) paying any more than a pittance in tax to HMRC, unlike our high street retailers who are hit much harder because they don't have the same opportunities for "creative accounting".

Environmentally, depending upon the efficiency of the vehicles being used, they is probably a marginal environmental benefit in online ordering and home delivery against going out shopping but I've never seen any comparison figures.

Avionker:

Problem is, as above, some of the big players have found very efficient ways to avoid paying corporation tax so it's hardly surprising that the government, that desparately needs revenue now, will see an opportunity to collect some from online shopping. it'll likely be one of many "stealth taxes" that will be brought in and tweaked to avoid raising income tax or that quasi income tax, NHI which is now pretty well a no-no for all political parties.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:49
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"It's to help the environment..."

Of course it is.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:50
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To quote ORAC
One delivery driver can drop off 50-100 parcels a day in one round trip, with the goods having one layer of packing.
That's 50 to 100 vehicles off the road per day per van . Got to make a bit of a difference to congestion of not to pollution as well
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 10:55
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Delivery tax" fine, why not? we, as consumers, happily dole out extra payment to provide for idiotic content advertising, so paying for something useful shouldn't be a problem. What would be nice, however, would be a delivery service being available! As one of a pair of over 80's we have been blessed for the last 3 months or so with neighbours who have picked up superstore type items for us. They have now returned to work and are no longer able to do so. I have been waiting for almost the whole of that period for our local store to include us in their pre-packed selected items scheme. Result? zilch. I shall, therefore, have to venture out some time this week and mix it with the bog-roll hunters and hope that I can avoid the 'plague'. The principle of packing up a basic selection of pre-ordered or nominated foodstuffs for instant collection is so obvious and simple that one would have thought it was a no-brainer to operate. It seems not! Our local 'corner shop' operate this with their limited selection as does the excellent 'fish-lady' but obviously too difficult for the 'big boys'.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 11:02
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
To quote ORAC

That's 50 to 100 vehicles off the road per day per van . Got to make a bit of a difference to congestion of not to pollution as well
If only things did come with one layer of packing!
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 11:06
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Originally Posted by Avionker View Post
An alternative interpretation is of course:-

ďThis Internet shopping is proving jolly popular. We really must think of some excuse to tax it more heavily, itís a cash cow just waiting to be milked donít you know?Ē
Post of the week, Monday nominee.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 12:56
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Originally Posted by WB627 View Post
To quote ORAC

That's 50 to 100 vehicles off the road per day per van . Got to make a bit of a difference to congestion of not to pollution as well
Aha! but that's lost revenue from fuel tax. Would the delivery tax make that up?
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 14:11
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Ah, genius. Just as businesses are struggling to their feet what they really need is a new tax...
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 15:46
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Originally Posted by ShotOne View Post
Ah, genius. Just as businesses are struggling to their feet what they really need is a new tax...
Amazon is many things. Struggling ain't one of them.

CG
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 17:01
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Doesn't Brexit give the government the opportunity to treat Amazon etc as UK companies liable to Corporation Tax on their UK profits, even if creative accounting shuffles them abroad? Of course, Brexit also means that the Whitehall mandarins looking for a translation to the Brussels gravy train trough won't find it so easy and so will try their best to make it expensive for the public.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 18:42
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It’s not so much EU and UK tax law and treaties as international treaties - and more importantly the bilateral ones with the USA, who own all such corporations and already tax them. You could tell the USA to stick it and tax them anyway - but they have a much bigger stick.....
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 19:52
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Surely there's a benefit to the online retailers, and often the online prices are lower than prices in the shops.
They will be cheaper as they don't have all the massive overheads of Joe Bloggs in the high street. One big warehouse crammed with lots of workers on a pittance working long hours and paying tax in low tax countries, they're always going to be cheaper.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 09:47
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Waiting for the product to arrive, missing a delivery,trying to trace the packet is very time consuming. I can walk to two house-appliance stores and buy what I need rather than wait days and weeks to receive a needed article. Currently I have filled a complain with OFPOST for a telephone that took almost three weeks to be delivered. So tax the internet shopping at 3000% I am fine I couldn't care less.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 11:03
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I would take the environmental angle serious if the "levy" is big enough to make you think twice about it. Make it £75 or £150 per delivery and I suspect most people would reconsider home deliveries.

In exactly the same way the elasticity of demand has determined the monetary value attached to the London Congestion Charge, this 'levy' will be calculated to maximise contributions to the government coffers whilst not killing the industry and simultaneously parading "environmental" credentials.
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