A TAX on ‘mega online’ retail giants could be the key to reviving the high streets in the towns of South Lakeland, according to MP Tim Farron.

After he raised the issue in the House of Commons this week, Minister for Local Growth Jake Berry confirmed a two per cent tax was in the pipeline should “international agreements” fail to recoup tax from such firms.

But the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP dismissed the plans and appealed to the Government to support “higher taxes on tax dodgers” which he said could raise enough money to slash business rates and bring high streets back to life.

“This Government’s plans for a puny two per cent digital tax on mega online firms who avoid paying their fair share is an insult to shops on the high street in towns like Grange, Windermere and Kendal,” Mr Farron told the House of Commons.

“Taxing big online companies more to give the a much-needed tax break to local firms would be a great common-sense solution to help our struggling high streets.”