Friday December 6, 2019INDEX
Business needs Labour's tax on the internet giants

At the last Labour Party conference my idea to have a click tax on internet corporations got half a million votes. This has now been superseded by Labour's plan to have free superfast broadband for all, part funded by taxes on internet giants. See this report from the Guardian.

This is not just a good idea for you and me. Businesses, even some quite large companies, need this tax.

Further evidence for this was demonstrated by Ralph Findlay, chief executive officer of Marstons, a director of the British Beer and Pub Association, and a senior independent director of Bovis Homes Group Plc.

"We are a business that pays an unbelievable amount of tax to HMRC," he told the BBC Radio 4 Programme Today on December 6. "It's about £500m a year we pay to the government so what they are talking about in relation to tax, whether that's beer duty, whether its social security tax; these things make a big difference to me."

Q: "What about business rates?"

"Business rate are a huge issue. We are a business that operates out of bricks and mortar properties. As a pub business we hand a disproportionate amount of rates over to the government. That system is really not working for us and we would strongly want to see that reviewed."

Q: "And are you also keen on the idea of a digital services tax which the Conservatives have promised and Labour has also talked about. Why are you so keen to have internet giants taxed more than they are?"

"The first thing is I remember when Philip Hammond stood up and promised this, and he did promise it and we should hold him to that. He talked about a digital services tax which would raise, I think it was, something like £400m a year. I have just explained that Marston's alone pays about £500m a year in tax to the government. That sort of sets it in context. It isn't a level playing field and these (internet companies) are not contributing to our social services in the way we are."

Posted by Jonathan Brind.
Friday December 6, 2019INDEX