29 October 2018
Listening to the Chancellor announcing today’s budget, it was encouraging to hear him speak repeatedly of the hard work of the British people. However, the hard work of our businesses and workers is completely undermined when billions of pounds are missed out on thanks to lost tax revenue from the US tech giants.
I have talked about this many times, yet nothing changed. I even spoke to the Prime Minister about this. There is no denying that it is way beyond time for action on the pitiful amount of tax paid by the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Google.
These tech giants generate billions of pounds of revenue in the UK, yet their tax bills do not reflect this; so, I congratulate the Chancellor on taking the first step today.
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a new tax on UK revenues of profitable businesses generating more than £500m globally within these particular sectors. This isn’t the complete global measure we’d hoped for but it is certainly a step in the right direction!
A collective responsibility
When you think about it, if all UK businesses took advantage of the tax rules that apply to these off-shore businesses, the country would collapse. We’d have even less funding for the NHS, for schools and for infrastructure. When you consider the gaps that we face with funding for public services, it’s astonishing that it has taken so long to tackle the tax issues of these so-called ‘digital platforms’.
It has long been the SME tax-paying entrepreneur that props up this country and it’s time for these tech giants to pay their share.
Ultimately, as business leaders we have a responsibility to give back to the country and to nurture the community around us.
I look at the UK’s booming tech industry and I’m proud of the way UKFast is able to contribute, but it has to be a level playing field. We are finally seeing some steps being taken to level that playing field for all tech businesses in the UK. That’s only going to encourage further growth, more startups and a better sentiment toward entering the industry.
What do you think of the Chancellor’s statement?