Not OK

Politicians are cracking down on your internet shopping habit

By Alex Wood 14 March 2017
Summary

Nothing is sacred.

There’s a demon lurking in your office.

No, it’s not the lycra-clad colleague who insists on turning up in cycling shorts. It’s something even worse – it’s the internet shopper.

We all know one, chances are you’re one yourself – and can’t get through a working week without a delivery.

First world problem

It’s no secret that our last-minute Asos and Amazon buys are clogging up the roads.

But now our politicians have had enough. They’ve called time on the internet shopping demons and want to ban you from getting your shopping delivered to the office.

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor of London, delivered the chilling news to MPs- pointing the finger of blame at our growing addiction to internet shopping for London’s gridlock.

According to a report in The Times, Shawcross said employees should be “banned” from having internet shopping delivered to the office altogether.

Shawcross said companies should instead encourage us to “click and collect” at collection points at train stations.

Seems like a noble idea – but we can’t help wondering if this isn’t widely adopted by shops and other facilities, won’t we just shift the problem to our already overcrowded and unpleasant commuter stations?

Tax our internet shopping?

And the news gets worse for internet shoppers – this could be the start of a much bigger crackdown.

In his budget speech last week, chancellor Philip Hammond declared that over the “medium term” Britain would have to find a “better way of taxing the digital part of the economy”.

Some have speculated this to mean one thing – an “internet sales tax”, a sneaky trick to level the playing field between the likes of Amazon and a bricks and mortar bookstore on the high street.

One step forward, two steps back

It’s a shame to hear all this hate towards online shopping when so many new solutions are being developed right here in the UK.

Amazon’s already working on delivery drones in Cambridgeshire and JustEat is already shipping chicken kormas in parts of London by using robot delivery buggies. What we really need is more openness from policymakers to making these technologies possible. If we get them right – instead of being known as a polluted backwater, London could fast become a world-leader in new ways of moving our shopping around.

What we really need is more from our policymakers to make these ideas possible. If we get them right – instead of being known as a polluted backwater, London could fast become a world-leader in new ways of moving our shopping around.

For now though, enjoy internet shopping while you can – you can’t fight progress, but you certainly can slap regulation and a ton of tax on it.