Hammond will introduce a Digital Services Tax in crackdown on
tax-dodging web giants
new levy was the gem of his keynote speech to the Tories’ annual
Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor
tech giants will be forced to stump up more under the Chancellor’s
21st-century blueprint to defeat Corbynism.
Hammond delighted Tory conference activists with his surprise vow to
introduce a Digital Services Tax.
levy on international profits made from users in Britain by
California-based giants such asFacebookandGooglewill
recoup hundreds of millions of pounds.
Hammond wants it in place in one to two years if a global agreements
on taxing tech firms still cannot be reached. The crowd-pleaser was
the gem of his keynote speech to the Tories’ annual conference in
he also used it to spell out a vision to harness the unfolding
technology revolution to improve angry Brits’ lives. If was Mr
Hammond’s rival offer to defeat hard-left Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn’s Socialist blueprint.
Hammond told the conference: “Global internet giants must contribute
fairly to funding our public services. The best way to tax
international companies is through international agreements.
the time for talking is coming to an end and the stalling has to stop.
If we cannot reach agreement, the UK will go it alone with a Digital
Services Tax of its own.”
Chancellor will push ahead with the move after losing patience with
repeated promises for global action to end the tax dodge, President
Trump’s administration is still stalling on a solution as it reaps
billions from the firms, with so many based on the US’s West Coast.
is instead now looking at Europe-wide action, as France is also keen
for something to be done. The Treasury is also consulting on a second
online levy, an Online Sales Tax, to force digital retailers such as
Amazon to pay more tax too.
sources close to the Chancellor said he is going cold on that as he
fears the giants will just pass it straight on to consumers.
Hammond tackled the Labour boss head-on yesterday, by pledging to
“harness the power of the market economy” instead of “a discredited
ideology that will never solve real-world problems”.
insisted Tories must face up to the anger among many British workers,
saying: “Too many feel they are working for the system, but the system
isn’t working for them.
our challenge is to ensure 21st-century capitalism delivers for those
people. It will be this technological transformation, and how we
manage it — not Brexit — that will define the future of our country
and our party.”
Hammond added: “Show them that, crucially, the change that technology
is driving will address their concerns, not make them worse.
we look for a moment like the party of “no change”, then we should not
be surprised that some will be tempted by the dangerous populism of
Hammond also answered the calls of big business who have been stung by
PM Theresa May’s attack on excess profits and boardroom culture.Tory
donor and City billionaire Michael Spencersaid
the party had “lost its way” on business, accusing the PM of “letting
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the Chancellor said: “Let me say it, loud and clear: the Conservative
Party is, and always will be, the party of business. That means we
listen to business.” And in a change of tone on Brexit, a more
positive Mr Hammond also predicted a “deal dividend” that could fund
tax cuts and public service spending once a deal is reached.
also said the Treasury was keeping sufficient “fiscal firepower” to
hand to deal with any economic fallout from a No-Deal Brexit.