Today’s Silly Idea – The Amazon Delivery Levy

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From the Times

 
Internet shoppers could be hit by a compulsory delivery charge as part of a campaign to cut congestion and toxic emissions, The Times has learnt.

The government is considering a range of measures to reduce the damaging impact of the e-commerce boom, which has led to a rise in delivery vans on British roads.

Yes, there’s been a rise in delivery vans, but in case anyone hasn’t noticed, this also means there’s been a decline in cars going into towns on a weekend. We know this because we know that a lot of town centres are dying and that’s because people aren’t using them.

It said that the introduction of free and next-day delivery deals had led to “unnecessary over-ordering”, with some people immediately sending back clothes they no longer wanted free of charge. Mandatory charges may be needed to “encourage more sustainable behaviour”, ministers were told.

This is an overstated problem. You just have to think of how many things you can put in a car or a van, and how little it is the extra journey from 1 house on an estate to 12 houses on an estate. Even if it’s 1 parcel each, well, how many things did anyone ever buy in town at a time? 3? 4? it’s still going to be more efficient. And returns are around 30% of all goods, so even with both, it’s probably better than high street shopping, so why would you want to try and discourage it?
I’m sure there’s circumstances where it definitely works better than people getting things themselves, or otherwise, we could run over a load of calculations, but really, we just don’t need The Men at the DfT doing any of this at all. We’ve calculated a price for a ton of pollution, which is applied for petrol, and some more (and Timmy knows the price) and made Amazon pay it, and this is the choice the market made. We don’t need any fiddling around after that.

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swannypol
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swannypol

The way to deal with congestion and emissions is fuel duty should be higher.
Which would, of course, increase home shopping.
They didn’t think that one through, did they. Idiots.

Spike
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Spike

Without a doubt, this gov’t initiative is designed to protect people doing business the old way from people doing business a new way. Pollution? you’re right, more delivery trucks means fewer shoppers’ cars; either way, the stuff has to go from warehouse to home. (What kind of tax will they propose when an electric drone drops it in your garden?) Sustainable behavior? that could mean anything. “Sustaining” bricks-and-mortar shops means putting the human race in stasis.

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

As per usual so called Green motives are being used to increase taxes by implementing policies that aren’t in the least bit Green.

John B
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John B

‘Internet shoppers could be hit by a compulsory delivery charge as part of a campaign to cut congestion and toxic emissions… ‘ Hold on there. What ‘toxic’ emissions? Exhaust catalytic converters and lead-free fuel got rid of toxic emissions. Of course they mean CO2 which is not toxic – we know this because we produce it in our body cells and have it in our lungs all the time. More delivery vans does not mean congestion if there is enough road space, and has been pointed out, fewer other vehicles as a result. But interesting isn’t it. Urging a return… Read more »

TD
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TD

Progressives are actively waging war on the working class which they do by targeting their employers for extinction through regulation or minimum wage increases and by driving home prices out of reach while enriching themselves. Perhaps they envision allowing a small army of lawn mowers and house cleaners living in subsidized, dense affordable housing located in crummy areas within driving distance. The results of these policies are particularly observable in the US as evidenced by the migration of so many people away from progressive blue states to “less progressive” red states. Every now and then someone comes along such as… Read more »

Tim the Coder
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Tim the Coder

But internet shops are discriminated against because they have to deliver, whereas high-street shops dodge the issue by making the customer carry it home.
So there should be a levy on high-street shops to subsidise the delivery costs of online retailers. 🙂

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

Oh but we have to “set the market up” and create the right incentives, to quote Tim elsewhere.