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City centres 'could become ghost towns'

City centres are in danger of becoming ghost towns as shopping habits change, a committee of MPs has warned.
To combat this, the government should "level the playing field" for High Street retailers by raising taxes on online giants such as Amazon, it said.
The MPs also called for lower business rates and more regeneration in town centres.
The government said it was investing to ensure High Streets "adapt and thrive for generations".
A fifth of UK retail sales now occur online with that proportion likely to grow, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said.

But it said the impact on high streets had been "stark", resulting in "store closures, persistently empty shops and declining footfall".
"Some formerly thriving shopping areas are likely to become ghost towns and effectively close down altogether unless the government, councils, retailers, landlords and the local community act together," it said.
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