Friday, 16 November, 2018


New 'Google tax' to raise £400 million a year

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption What to expect in the Budget Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption What to expect in the Budget
Conrad Doyle | 31 October, 2018, 16:28

Hammond admitted that at this stage the 2018 UK Budget is a placeholder; and that in the increasingly likely event of a no deal Brexit a new budget will have to be written.

It is important that I emphasise that this is not an online-sales tax on goods ordered over the internet - such a tax would fall on consumers of those goods, and that is not our intention.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said when he heard that the party "would be backing Philip Hammond's tax cuts for the richest" it sent a "shiver down my spine".

The chancellor had actually said the government would have to set a new Budget if it was unable to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union, with it requiring a "different response" and "fiscal buffers" being maintained to provide support for the economy.

"Prime minister, I always thought that you could be the queen of Brexit, but did you ever think the chancellor could be the king of Brexit?".

Downing Street insisted the spending pledges were fully funded, irrespective of the outcome of Brexit talks.

The IFS said it was debatable whether the budget heralded the end of austerity, but it added that the plans marked a change of fiscal direction for Britain.

But shadow chancellor John McDonnell hit back saying: 'The Tories usually do this. Along with Americans, Canadians and New Zealanders, we will soon be able to use the e-Passport gates on arrival at Heathrow.

Despite Mr Hammond's claims that the economy has "turned a corner" on the way to the end of austerity, Mr Johnson said that Monday's Budget was "no bonanza" for public services other than the NHS.

The budget deficit was set to fall to 1.2 percent of gross domestic product in the current financial year, down from a forecast in March of 1.8 percent, he told parliament - a bigger drop than bond dealers polled by Reuters had expected.

The additional funding for mental health will be used to pay for the provision of support in every major A&E department, as well as more specialist ambulances and school mental health teams.

Yesterday's announcement combined with increased spending already promised for other services, like defence and aid, implies continued cuts elsewhere (the Resolution Foundation said prisons and local government could suffer).

"The switch to Universal Credit is a long-overdue and necessary reform", Hammond said.

"What the OBR gives the OBR can take away", he warned.

The tax will apply to revenues from ads on social media targeted at United Kingdom users, commissions in online marketplaces on transactions between United Kingdom users, and display advertising next to search results.

"It's not tax rises and it's not the NHS that Mr. Hammond is willing to gamble on, it's the public finances". Such contracts have been slammed by the Public Accounts Committee for being inflexible, and the Office for Budget Responsibility has identified private finance initiatives as a fiscal risk to the government.

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