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-   -   Internet Shopping Levy to Cut Congestion and Polution (https://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/633649-internet-shopping-levy-cut-congestion-polution.html)

WB627 29th Jun 2020 09:37

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.

ORAC 29th Jun 2020 09:46

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.

Avionker 29th Jun 2020 09:48

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

ATNotts 29th Jun 2020 09:55


Originally Posted by WB627 (Post 10824261)
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.

WB627 29th Jun 2020 10:07


Originally Posted by ATNotts (Post 10824274)
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.

Sallyann1234 29th Jun 2020 10:18

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.

ATNotts 29th Jun 2020 10:23


Originally Posted by WB627 (Post 10824288)
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.

Saintsman 29th Jun 2020 10:49

"It's to help the environment..."

Of course it is.

WB627 29th Jun 2020 10:50

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

Cornish Jack 29th Jun 2020 10:55

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'. :mad:

ATNotts 29th Jun 2020 11:02


Originally Posted by WB627 (Post 10824324)
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!

FlightDetent 29th Jun 2020 11:06


Originally Posted by Avionker (Post 10824269)
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.

hiflymk3 29th Jun 2020 12:56


Originally Posted by WB627 (Post 10824324)
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?

ShotOne 29th Jun 2020 14:11

Ah, genius. Just as businesses are struggling to their feet what they really need is a new tax...

charliegolf 29th Jun 2020 15:46


Originally Posted by ShotOne (Post 10824514)
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

radeng 29th Jun 2020 17:01

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.

ORAC 29th Jun 2020 18:42

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.....

BirdmanBerry 29th Jun 2020 19:52


Originally Posted by ATNotts (Post 10824307)
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.

Rwy in Sight 30th Jun 2020 09:47

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.

flyems 30th Jun 2020 11:03

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.

twb3 30th Jun 2020 17:50

I'm not at all sure that there is any environmental benefit to curtailing home delivery over purchase at brick-and-mortar stores. In any case, the item is going to be shipped from the point of manufacture to the buyer's home. I suspect that the shipping from factory to warehouse or store uses a similar amount of energy, and the 'last mile' from store or warehouse to home is more likely to be at a lower energy cost per unit using a delivery truck on a planned and optimized route than the consumer making a trip in their own vehicle to retrieve the item from the store.

rifruffian 30th Jun 2020 18:06

There's lots of people who are not tied to any employment schedule. ( Is it a majority?) . So these peeps have time at their disposal. As far as shopping goes, I see far more choice online, item for item, than any conventional retail outlet. Choice of quality levels and price levels online superior to the alternative; mistakes, complaints, returns etc not difficult as my own experience goes.. My shopping is 99% online. (not an exaggeration ). I can see it could be targeted for tax. I don't like the idea but you will not see me leading the revolution against it.

Pontius Navigator 30th Jun 2020 18:17

Free delivery is a fact. Yes, it will have a direct effect I the bottom line Seller A to Seller B. But if Seller A can buy 100 widgets and sell them in a day with 10% mark up he may make more money than Seller B selling 10 of the same widgets in a week bought in at a lower discount. He needs to improve his direct margin through delivery costs.

You only have to look at widgets on Amazon. You can pay a slightly higher cost for next day delivery for a £79 membership fee or at a discount, probably not next day, for a delivery fee. Your direct cost is probably the same although Amazon gains that £79 but gives you other benefits too.

rifruffian 30th Jun 2020 18:23

bamboozled by that post PN......

VP959 30th Jun 2020 18:32

The bottom line is that for anything supplied from outside China, the purchaser is really paying for the delivery, even if it's quoted as being "free". China is an oddball, as the Chinese government heavily subsidise shipping from China, to encourage exports. Arguably the shipping cost still ends up being fed back to the product cost, via taxation, but I doubt that it's as straightforward as that in reality.

Personally, I'd far rather that everything had the real delivery charges listed, especially for anything that I'm likely to buy more than one of, as I always get the feeling that the "free shipping" prices tend to be a rip off if buying a quantity of something. Also, am I alone in finding that Amazon is a complete PITA in terms of finding something for the best price? Try as I might, Amazon's weird and wonderful search algorithm always seems to throw up a strange range of prices, and even the option to order search results by price seems to fall over, and list higher priced items earlier in the list than they should be. For all it's other flaws, eBay does at least seem to have better search functionality, that actually allows sensible boolean search terms to be used reasonably effectively (something that Amazon doesn't seem to support well).

rifruffian 30th Jun 2020 19:18

VP it seems that this notion of 'free' delivery is a personal perception. I like to see a price which includes delivery without extra charge; there is not any logic to it and I understand it is not free, just not listed as an additional charge but that format is always my preference. Similarly when I am an ebay seller I always list item as free delivery. I also find navigation of the amazon website difficult and frustrating. As a result my preferred site is ebay.

lancs 30th Jun 2020 20:38


Originally Posted by Cornish Jack (Post 10824328)
What would be nice, however, would be a delivery service being available!

Try Iceland online. I can predictably get deliveries tomorrow from them, over £35 and its free! The main supermarkets are all unable to offer collection or delivery services for the next 2 weeks every time I've checked before using them. Their range may be slightly limited, but you won't starve and their rump steaks are quite acceptable. (No, I don't work for them, etc.)

Pontius Navigator 30th Jun 2020 20:43

Offering either a price and free delivery or price plus stated delivery is fine. What gets my goat is where you don't find the until the final part of the process what they delivery charge is.

highflyer40 30th Jun 2020 21:23


Originally Posted by rifruffian (Post 10825650)
bamboozled by that post PN......

Amazon prime gives you free next day delivery (and recently quite a lot of same delivery for free if ordered before 1300). It is £79 per year but with that you get other inclusions as well. Most notably prime video, which is a streaming service like Netflix.

we have always done most all of our shopping online, including groceries.

Agree it would be nice to see big corporations pay their fair share of taxes. That would wipe out the corona virus bill in a few years!

VP959 30th Jun 2020 21:33


Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator (Post 10825772)
What gets my goat is where you don't find the until the final part of the process what they delivery charge is.

Annoys the heck out of me, as well, especially when you find at the check out stage that the delivery charge is almost as much as the price of the item. It happened to me last week, needed to buy a replacement remote control, found it listed for £9.99, then discovered when I went to pay that the delivery charge was £6.99. The really bizarre thing is that when I found the same remote listed (new) on eBay, the price was £11.49 including delivery, and it turned out that the seller was the same as the website I'd looked at originally.

rifruffian 30th Jun 2020 21:45

That is why I like the format 'free delivery'. A single figure group to read and enables an immediate decision to purchase, or not.

UniFoxOs 1st Jul 2020 06:15


Try Iceland online.
Fine, as long as you can be online when they release the delivery slots at 1100. Some of us can't...

Islandlad 1st Jul 2020 06:34


Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator (Post 10825647)
Free delivery is a fact.

You only have to look at widgets on Amazon. You can pay a slightly higher cost for next day delivery for a £79 membership fee or at a discount, probably not next day, for a delivery fee. Your direct cost is probably the same although Amazon gains that £79 but gives you other benefits too.

'Free Cinema' 'Safer Shopping' YouTube Reviews' 'Choice' 'Home Delivery' 'Service'

The world has turned upside down.

The future of the High Street is 'change'. What that change will be is of concern. Dormitory hubs, Pubs, Bars and Restaurants. On the way you can pick up your Amazon packages.

Islandlad 1st Jul 2020 06:41


Originally Posted by VP959 (Post 10825813)
Annoys the heck out of me, as well, especially when you find at the check out stage that the delivery charge is almost as much as the price of the item. It happened to me last week, needed to buy a replacement remote control, found it listed for £9.99, then discovered when I went to pay that the delivery charge was £6.99. The really bizarre thing is that when I found the same remote listed (new) on eBay, the price was £11.49 including delivery, and it turned out that the seller was the same as the website I'd looked at originally.

Pays to 'shop around'. Amazon Prime is the way to go until the deal evens out. Amazon need a competitor to challenge the monopoly. By the time that happens the High Street will have died.

jimjim1 1st Jul 2020 08:09


Originally Posted by Sallyann1234 (Post 10824298)
I do resent their paying tax in Luxembourg instead of here.

I have no knowledge of this however I would be astonished if they paid much tax anywhere.

I understand that some Coffee shop chain figures out their UK profit and then miraculously finds that is the exact amount due to the Swiss branch to which they must pay a license fee. They presumably pull some stunt in Switzerland too.

Poof! UK profit ZERO. No tax due of course.

ATNotts 1st Jul 2020 08:34


Originally Posted by jimjim1 (Post 10826091)
I have no knowledge of this however I would be astonished if they paid much tax anywhere.

I understand that some Coffee shop chain figures out their UK profit and then miraculously finds that is the exact amount due to the Swiss branch to which they must pay a license fee. They presumably pull some stunt in Switzerland too.

Poof! UK profit ZERO. No tax due of course.

Would that be the omnipresent chain that originated in Seattle who proudly claimed a couple of years ago that although they weren't liable for much corporation tax they did pay VAT? That would be the VAT that they collect from the mugs that buy their coffee from them of course, having offset their input VAT in their quarterly return!


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