Mike Ashley calls for large online retail tax

Retailers with online sales that account for more than 20% of their revenue should be hit with an extra tax at a rate of 20% in order to level the playing field between them and high street firms, according to Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley. Money raised from the tax could then be used to reduce business rates for retail store premises, he added. 

He made the suggestion while being quizzed by MPs over his acquisition of House of Fraser, confirming that this would also impact on Sports Direct. The businessman told MPs, "We have to realise the High Street won't make 2030 - it's not going to be there unless you do something really radical and grab the bulls by the horns. It won't be there."

The calls come after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans in his Budget for a new tax on online retailers, stating that the UK could no longer wait for international agreements to be reached on the issue.