Ireland-based retail representative body Retail Excellence has called for additional online support and tax fairness measures from the non-European imports to support retailers in the 2019 Budget.

Retail Excellence is proposing to include a general cut in consumption taxes, reduce the cost of doing business, increase financing to get retailers online and infrastructural investment and town renewal funding in the budget dubbed: ‘Retail: Sustaining and Growing an Economy’.

Retail Excellence chief executive Lorraine Higgins said: “Traditionally, a booming economy would mean increased spend in retail outlets but consumer habits have changed and we must react accordingly. This is precisely why Budget 2019 demands retail-focused solutions.

“Consequentially, this is a tax fairness issue.”

“One of the single biggest threats to bricks and mortar stores in Ireland and, consequently the retail mix and vibrancy of our town centres, is the glut of cheap, non-European imports being bought by Irish consumers online.

“The prices of these goods and products are generally distorted as many distance sellers are not registered for VAT in Ireland and therefore do not apply same or duties to the product price, which leaves our retailers at a competitive disadvantage. Consequentially, this is a tax fairness issue.”

The representative body is also urging to increase funding under the Digital Trading Online Voucher scheme to enable more retailers to go online. They are also seeking linguistic, logistic, network and market support in other jurisdictions.