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Chancellor Rishi Sunak is mulling a new tax on deliveries, according to Downing Street, as part of plans to revive the high street and cut emissions and congestion.

The tax would be targeted at goods sold online and could take the form of a 2% levy on online sales or a charge on deliveries.

The move follows the Chancellor raising concerns that business rates are penalising high street stores and giving internet retailers an unfair advantage.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “Last week, as we set out in the budget and manifesto, we published a call for evidence to look into all aspects of the business rates system.

“And as part of this we will consider the case for introducing alternative taxes as part of the review, including an online sales tax.

"The pandemic has had a significant impact on how business is done and the effect of this will become clearer over time.

"We'll continue to support businesses as far as possible, but we must also ensure that the tax system raises sufficient revenue to fund our vital public services."

The RHA warned against the tax this week. “You have to question how that sort of tax would impact on UK productivity and UK competition,” said national policy director Duncan Buchanan, adding: “Perhaps the government should look at reforming the rates that high street businesses struggle to pay rather than punishing consumers.”