A spare Britain's roaring economy – that alone will save us

Under existing rules, British sites already had to provide data to tax authorities, but under new OECD agreements HMRC will now require US online retailers to provide the same level of detailed information.

Hundreds of thousands of sellers can complete tax payments for the first time. After all, it's estimated that 12 percent of us have some kind of side hustle, so the stakes are high.

No one will blame HMRC for that. It's there to enforce the rules, and it's clearly wrong that people who make thousands of pounds a year selling concert tickets or selling 'pre-loved' clothes online should get away with paying tax on their income.

Revenue is probably hoping, no doubt, that publicizing its ability to share data on major web sites will prompt them to announce their earnings sooner. A few billion in extra revenue would be raised with very little effort, and could go some way to plugging the £100bn hole in the government's coffers.

However, here lies the problem. We need a more bustling economy than we realize.

There are two reasons for that. First, it helps people earn a little extra spare cash at a time when people are paying record levels of taxes and the cost of living has risen.

Housing funds, fixed-rate mortgage deals are coming to an end, the cost of many basic goods is still rising, real wages are under more pressure than they have been in a generation or two, and more taxes are due. People will really struggle to pay their bills this year.

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Rather than falling behind on their mortgage repayments, or cutting back even further on day-to-day expenses, they'd be better off earning some extra cash at some side gig and „hustling” their way out of trouble.

If we fear doing so, the entire economy will suffer.

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