Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:07 pm on 10th July 2017.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Conservative, Faversham and Mid Kent 7:07 pm, 10th July 2017

I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention. I will return to the content of the Bill in a moment, Madam Deputy Speaker, but I am spending a little time on corporation tax because the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish spent some time talking about it. It is important that Government Members make it clear that we are absolutely committed to raising revenue for public services. The last thing we want to see is tax changes that gain the right headlines but have the wrong effect on the bottom line from the Government’s point of view. We are absolutely committed to making sure that we can raise revenue for public services, about which we care very much, but we recognise that, to do so, we must have a tax environment that is supportive to businesses, because they are what provides the jobs and the economic growth.

On economic growth and people working harder to keep up their standard of living, as an economy, we need to be more productive and technology is the crucial enabler in that. That is exactly what the Bill will support. For instance, 5G as a technology is and will be a great enabler of the internet of things. Every second around the world, 127 devices are newly connected to the internet. That rate will surely increase, so the demand for connectivity and the ability to carry large volumes of data will only go up.

It is vital that we are at the forefront of that. In fact, 5G is forecast to boost economic value by $4 trillion to $11 trillion globally by 2020. That is a huge increase in economic value, so it is vital that we as a country take our share of that economic growth. In practice, it will mean developments that allow us to have smart household appliances, driverless cars and, one day, driverless lorries, which for my constituents, who are very unhappy about lorries being parked up in laybys a lot, will be an interesting prospect.