DELIVERY tax could add to the highest business rates in Europe in the UK.
According to home delivery expert ParcelHero, the Government has become dependent on ever-increasing business rates and its new study, ‘Which is Greenest? Home deliveries or traditional shopping?’ reveals that Britain’s rates are higher than those of France and Germany combined.
As there’s more to come with the Government considering the introduction of green taxes on home deliveries to subsidise a cut in soaring business rates.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David said that its study shows the whole premise of the argument that home deliveries are bad for the environment, and should be hit by a so-called green tax, is highly debatable.
He added: “In fact, there is strong evidence that, far from being less green, home deliveries are significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional visits to the High Street.”
The Government’s new Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report High Streets and Town Centres in 2030, proposes an online sales tax and ‘green taxes’ on deliveries and packaging.
It says the money raised from such a tax could then be spent on a future high street fund and a reduction in business rates. Currently half of all business rate income goes directly to local authorities, and half to central government, to be redistributed to councils through revenue support grants
Jinks said: “Our findings strongly disagree with the claim that a green tax on deliveries is a fair way to subsidise a cut in rates. In fact, a number of major studies have found home deliveries create far less CO2 emissions and congestion than shoppers traveling to town centres by car.
“It’s true that since 2009, we have become more aware that CO2 is not the only key measure of pollution that impacts on urban areas. We now know earlier diesel engines produced higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulates.
“That’s why our study found the latest Euro 6 diesel delivery vans have now cut NOx by 55% and slashed emissions of Sulphur oxide, Carbon monoxide, Hydrocarbon and diesel particulates. In contrast the NOx limit for petrol engines in cars has not been altered from Euro 5 standards.”
Even so, many home delivery companies are already starting the move to ditch diesel entirely in order to retain their green crown.
Jinks added: “We are already seeing the mass introduction of vehicles such as Banbury-based Arrival’s electric vans. Most leading UK couriers are currently trialling electric vehicles in urban areas, whilst some are also operating hydrogen powered vans.
“A number of major retailers are even trialling Biogas powered vehicles: a renewable resource derived from food waste. B&Q, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos are among many already using the fuel.”