Saturday, 20 October 2018

UK opposition to propose 'internet tax' for web giants

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 23 August 18

The Labour Leader will call for a major overhaul of the UK's media and telecoms industry at a speech in Edinburgh on Thursday

  The UK's Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, will today call for the implementation of an "internet tax", to be paid by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, the proceeds of which would be used to fund independent journalism in the UK…

 

The UK's Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, will today call for the implementation of an "internet tax", to be paid by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, the proceeds of which would be used to fund independent journalism in the UK.

A report from the BBC claims that Mr Corbyn will make the suggestion during his speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, on Thursday.

The proposed tax would be aimed at radically reforming the UK's online news industry and curtailing the influence of some of its biggest players.

"One solution to funding public interest media could be by tapping up the digital monopolies that profit from every search, share and like we make," Corbyn is expected to say, according to a statement released by his office.

"Google and news publishers in France and Belgium were able to agree a settlement. If we can't do something similar here, but on a more ambitious scale, we'll need to look at the option of a windfall tax on the digital monopolies."

Mr Corbyn has had a fractious relationship with the UK media, since he became leader of the Labour Party in 2015.

Critics of his proposed plan will question the wisdom of levying further taxation against a group of companies from whom it has been notoriously difficult to extract revenues in the past (both Google and Amazon have been accused of unfairly minimising their UK tax liability in the past).

Others will question the timing of the announcement, with the UK currently trying to cultivate investment in its digital economy from the very companies on Mr Corbyn's hit list.  

The UK government has said that levying such a tax would inevitably increase costs for consumers.

 

Also in the news: 

UK govt calls for partners on 5G smart-rail project 

Scottish Highlands to get 'transformative' FTTH broadband

Could poor broadband access be stunting children's development in the UK?

 

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