iwoca condemn online tax proposals

Say No to Online Sales TaxChristoph Rieche, CEO & Co-founder at iwoca, last week shared a podium with a prestigious line up of speakers at the ‘Supporting Growth for Business’ conference. Christoph’s address championed the UK’s community of 300,000 online retailers and their potential to help save the UK economy.

‘Supporting Growth for Business’ was a forum for business leaders, manufacturers, exporters, key stakeholders and lenders to discuss how they can work together to forge meaningful partnerships to return the UK to sustained growth.

The Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister, gave the keynote address in which he shared an interesting fact – the UK has the highest number of people in the world who work for themselves out of choice rather than necessity. There has been a complete transformation of the business landscape in the UK, with much of it being driven by the admirable entrepreneurial spirit among the online seller community.

Online trade is good for employment, creating jobs not only for the sellers themselves but also within the vast ecosystem of fulfillment houses, design agencies, software providers and other services that all exist to support the ecommerce industry. In fact, according to data from IMRG, by 2015 there will be 1.5 million e-commerce jobs in the UK. Online trade is also a vital source of growth for exports and the UK contributes nearly a third of Europe’s €36bn cross-border sales.

Christoph’s address gave him the opportunity to build upon Lord Young’s comments by highlighting the significant contribution e-commerce already makes and the potential for growth over the next few years. Unsurprisingly Christoph highlighted that access to working capital is one of the biggest challenges for e-sellers but is at the heart of their ability to grow but also emphasised that ecommerce drives UK job creation with predictions that there will be 1.5 million UK e-commerce jobs by 2015.

Looking back at the conference and with the news that BRC members are considering proposals for an online tax, Christoph told us “With double-digit growth in the e-commerce sector and online businesses growing 57 times faster than the UK economy, why would we ever want to impose a tax that would interrupt the phenomenal momentum this sector has already achieved? At iwoca, we strongly believe that the UK online seller community helps to drive much-needed job and export growth. Therefore we should be supporting, nurturing and championing our online sellers so that they remain global leaders and innovators, not placing additional hurdles in their way.