Executives from major retailers met with financial secretary to the treasury Lucy Frazer last week to warn of the potential impact of an online sales tax.

asda store

Asda is understood to have told the government that an online sales tax would harm shoppers

Asda is understood to have told the government that introducing the duty would harm retailers and shoppers who are already struggling with inflation.

John Lewis has also reiterated its stance against an online sales tax, while Asos is understood to have said that it would squeeze customers further when their budgets are already stretched.

Both Amazon and Ebay warned that the introduction of the levy would hit small business owners, many of whom use their platforms, harder than their larger counterparts.

They also said that it would curb innovation.

Other grocers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, as well as DIY giant Kingfisher, support the tax as it could help cut business rates.

A treasury spokesperson said: “We have not decided whether to proceed with an online sales tax. The purpose of the consultation was to consider the design options and economic impacts of such a tax and explore arguments for and against.”