Digital services tax: introduction

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 12:15 pm, 11th June 2020

I thank the hon. Lady very much for her question. As I said, the estimate by the independent OBR is of £2 billion over a five-year period. Our estimate is certainly £2 billion over a five-year period. I do not think that is a trivial amount. As has been discussed, we of course recognise the importance of generating revenue, but we also think it important to introduce a tax that is sustainable and that lays a framework that can be effective while it is in operation. There are countries that have had higher taxes, and we have offsetting rules regarding the interaction with those taxes in order to create equity as between the different jurisdictions, so it is a perfectly fair question, but we have taken the view that 2% is an appropriate level for a new tax. As I said, it is a tax that we will be very happy to take off the statute book as and when the OECD process starts to yield effective results, which it may well do before too long.