A proposed new online sales tax levied on high street retailers could place further strain on the already overwhelmed army of UK warehouse workers, warns Midland Pallet Trucks.
Leading retailers such as Next, Halfords and popular department store John Lewis could all face a larger tax bill should the UK government's plans to impose a new tax on e-commerce go ahead. Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting and materials handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, is raising concerns that higher taxes will lead to cost-cutting elsewhere as the UK high street struggles to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to readdress business rates that are seen by many independent and chain retailers as outmoded and unfair, the government is proposing a 2% e-commerce levy for retailers trading online. It is suggested this move would realign business overheads and give offline stores a fighting chance of recovery.
There are concerns that online retailers will look to recoup the losses made by a larger tax bill elsewhere. This could mean potential in-store job losses and a greater pressure on warehousing staff to up productivity and ensure that more orders leave the warehouse in a shorter period of time.
With the UK warehousing industry already overwhelmed due to Brexit and Covid-19, placing more strain on the people that keep operational wheels turning from a warehousing and logistics viewpoint is increasing the risk of avoidable accidents and injuries.
Managing director Phil Chesworth said, “Here at Midland Pallet Trucks, we are 100% behind supporting our UK high streets, but the government needs to understand that penalising those retailers who are able to provide online orders is just going to heap more strain on an already overworked warehouse workforce.”