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Online threat

The high street is in crisis and many retailers are on the verge of collapse. Terry Murden (Business, 16 January) painted a sombre picture of the fallout from the closures – properties devalued, employees out of work and the deterioration of our town centres.

The list of failing businesses keeps growing – Jessops, Comet, HMV and Blockbuster are only the latest casualties in a long line.

There are many factors at work, but one glaring injustice is the fact that ordinary shops are being undercut by Amazon. Its sales in the UK last year totalled £2.9 billion, but it paid no UK corporation tax.

Other retailers pay their corporation tax and property rates on their premises. They pay their way. Amazon takes full advantage of tax schemes and so it can afford to undercut its rivals and drive them out of business.

The £10.6 million subsidy given to Amazon by the SNP government must have had Amazon bosses laughing all the way to the bank.

What a sick joke – a big hand-out of public money to help Amazon wreck our high street businesses and put thousands of shop employees out of work.

Alex Salmond was only too happy to be photographed with Amazon bosses at the opening of its subsidised distribution centre in 2011.

Will he now be equally keen to be photographed at the closing of our high street shops, making his apologies to the owners of the businesses he has helped close and to the employees that he has put out of work?

Les Reid

Morton Street

Edinburgh

 
 
 

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