Sunak’s online sales tax really is just another way to attack people with disabilities

Rishi Sunak: he keeps interfering with the market, despite his party’s claim that it’s better to leave it alone. Is it because Tories love to torture people with disabilities?

Rishi Sunak isn’t making any sense at all.

He says his plan for an online sales tax is intended to push people back onto the High Street, to physically go out and buy products in order to save businesses that are in danger after the lockdown forced us to stay indoors.

We’ve been buying products online while Covid-19 remains a threat.

And we’ll go back to the High Street, but only once we are convinced the danger is over.

So if High Street shops are in danger, it’ll be because we can’t trust Sunak and his fellow Tories on when that’s likely to be.

Not only that, but in considering such a tax, Sunak is saying the UK is hostile to the new commerce that the Internet represents – as net-based firms still pay business rates and all the other taxes associated with sales.

That’s not good for any country’s economy in this day and age.

It simply doesn’t make sense.

But, considering the Conservatives’ well-known passion for cruelty, there is one reason for bringing in an online sales tax that does make sense: they’ve found out it’s another way they can attack people with disabilities.

People whose health conditions mean they can’t get out of the house have to use the Net to get their stuff, and many shops don’t have access for people with disabilities anyway – despite disability access laws having been enacted many years ago.

People with disabilities don’t have much cash to enjoy, either. They’re either on benefits or in low-waged employment.

So the logical reason for imposing an online sales tax is to push disabled people further into poverty – or to deprive them of goods that they should have the same opportunity to enjoy as the rest of us.

Tories have form in this regard; “Eat out to help out” was another attack on people with disabilities, as you can’t benefit from a discount on restaurant meals if you can’t actually leave home.

Underlying it all is yet another big lie:

Tories have supported, on the face of it, neoliberal ideology since Margaret Thatcher became their leader in the mid-1970s – and that means they support a laissez-faire attitude to the market.

This means they believe the market will automatically adjust to prevailing conditions in order to keep going.

So the proper government policy is non-interference.

Yet here they are, interfering.

Source: Rishi Sunak’s planned online sales tax is a tax on disability | Disability | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Sunak’s online sales tax really is just another way to attack people with disabilities

  1. Random Bloke

    Problems predate covid and have simply bought the decline of high streets (ones which aren’t dead already) forward by some years.

    Its not just about saving money people do not feel safe in their local high streets any more when you think that there was always an element of risk for vulnerable people in most towns, in the present its generally dangerous whoever you are

    Plus aside from this the actual facilities for disabled persons are a bad joke it gets no better if you as the carer are unable to leave the person unattended you need an iron bladder to get through the trip.

  2. kateuk

    There would be much better ways of helping the high streets. For many years councils have been selling off shopping malls to insurance companies and the like who regard them as a cash cow by charging high rents and pushing shops out of business. High parking charges and lack of park and ride except for cities keep people away. High transport costs keep more away. All the small independent businesses that used to help our high streets flourish have gone. Who wants to go to the town centre when it’s expensive to get there/park, and there is less choice than ever before? Much of the stuff I buy online I can’t get in the high street. Sunak and the Tories have put absolutely zero thought into this, as usual.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That’s a particularly good point about lack of choice. I’m rminded of a trip to Currys when I was unable to find anything I wanted in-store but as told “You can probably get it online”. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. J Edington

    I agree with almost all of this but “as net-based firms still pay business rates and all the other taxes associated with sales” does ring a bit hollow when the main online retailer, Amazon, is renowned for not doing so.

    I also agree with kateuk when he/she talks about town centres. My own home town, rural Galashiels, is becoming a retail shell, partly because of giant supermarkets, but also because the retail premises are mainly owned by property agents in Edinburgh, who seem to think our locals can afford the same rents as in the city. The only towns around here that have un-boarded-up and thriving high-streets are those of wealthy residential areas.

  4. Growing Flame

    The case for home delivery over going to the shops in person is emphasised by the need to reduce carbon emissions.
    If I went to my local large supermarket, I would be driving around 10 miles there and back. So would 5 of my neighbours.
    But one van can deliver to all of us in our village using only a little more petrol than one car.
    Since Covid, we have moved to home delivery for a range of food deliveries.
    I can understand that many use shopping as “a day out”, possibly with friends and family. So be it.
    But let’s call it what it is. A fun day out, seeing the world and being seen. Very human, I think.
    But , if we actually NEED stuff, we can get it delivered.
    Small shops should be for occasional treats or something unexpected.
    We are going to have to face up to the decline of the High streets by converting former shops into flats and houses. Curiously, when more of that is done, there will be a revival of the High streets because there will be a greater local population needing shops and pubs.
    They might also become more civilised at night as there will be a local population looking out at goings-on.
    Currently, the people live out in the suburbs and the shopping centres are deserted at night, prey to all kinds of anti-social activity.
    Reduce the number of shops to increase the population living right in the town centre.
    Overall, this is part of the advance of computerised commerce, leading to less need for human beings to work in retail. So we also need to talk about guaranteed incomes, shorter working weeks and earlier retirement to share out the work.
    If we don’t do this, more of us will be chasing fewer jobs by earning less or trying to start our own small shops selling goods that no one else can really afford as they are struggling as well!

Comments are closed.