Clause 71 - Review of DST

Part of Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee, Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee 3:15 pm, 1st July 2020

My hon. Friend makes a really interesting point. It is hard to create new taxes and the reform of certain parts of our taxation has been put into the bottom drawer marked “too tricky” by successive Governments over many years. Perhaps business rates are a part of that. It is clearly going to have to evolve, and it is evolving, but it is also hard to create a new and entirely fair system, particularly as the economy is changing so rapidly that we are in danger of creating a system that solves yesterday’s problem.

I will conclude by saying that this positive measure creates a more level playing field, but not an absolutely level playing field. The digital economy is critical to us. I am very keen to see more digital start-ups across the country, greater digital connectivity and more emphasis on skills and start-ups. None of that is compromised by the digital services tax. It is about bringing more fairness into the tax system, but it will also give us some valuable insights into how tax may be raised in the future, because one thing we do know is that there will be a new normal after the crisis, and the digital economy will be at its heart.