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 Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee, Chair, European Statutory Instruments Committee 12:15 pm, 11th June 2020

My right hon. Friend makes a valuable point about the multi-channel operations of many retailers. I came to Parliament from a business background that had a mixture of high street and online retailers. From a business perspective, the key thing is to reach customers in the way that is right for them. By choosing either the high street or online, businesses miss out. Customers are open to trading in whichever way is convenient for them, as this crisis has shown.

I want to make a comment about the taxation. Higher taxation rates do not necessarily mean higher tax collected. We also have to recognise that having a tax environment that is conducive to creating a business-friendly environment is a critical part of the economic growth that we have seen over the past few years. We should certainly be looking around the world to see how other countries operate their tax systems, but drawing comparisons with countries that are not creating wealth or jobs might not be the way forward.