Retail trade union Usdaw is disappointed that the Chancellor has missed an opportunity to be bold and implement meaningful action to rebuild the retail industry and level the playing field between the high street and online retailers by announcing an online sales tax.

Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: 
“We are pleased that the Chancellor has eventually stepped back from the cliff-edge ending of the jobs retention scheme and we will study the details of the new jobs support scheme. However we are very disappointed that he made no mention of the deep difficulties the retail industry faces.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on retail. So far this year 125,000 jobs have been lost in retail and 14,000 shops have permanently closed. The Chancellor today needed to demonstrate the Government will work with unions and employers on an immediate recovery plan that will give targeted support to retail.

“High streets need radical and bold action to level the playing field between online retail and ‘bricks and mortar’ shops. The time is long overdue for the Government to look seriously at introducing some form of online sales tax.

“Today we saw no indication that the Government is going to intervene in a struggling retail industry, which is the cornerstone of our towns, cities and communities. Retail employs around 3 million people and needs urgent assistance to get the industry back on its feet.”

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)is the UK’s fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

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