Friday, October 13, 2017

The Tax Timebomb



A lot of people have finally woken up to the damage Big Internet is doing as it bulldozes its way to global domination: whole business categories that used to support a complex ecosystem of successful businesses is swept away in favour of one Silicon Valley monster with endless funding.


There have been issues around workers’ rights (Uber, Deliveroo (which, OK, is not from the Valley)), residents’ rights (Airbnb), monopolies (Google with search and advertising), high street decimation (Amazon). The list goes on and on as politicians and ordinary people alike realise what chumps they have been in regarding these aggressive businesses as some kind of social saviours.


But the real problem with these companies is that they are putting companies that pay tax out of business.


Amazon’s last corporation tax bill in the UK was £11.9m on sales of £5,300m. To be fair, Tesco claimed back £54m in the same period. But what you have to do is to offset agains this the rates paid in every high street in Britain by small and large companies, and the corporation tax paid by all those retailers. 


Similarly, the rates and tax payed by hotel groups far outweighs the £188k paid by Airbnb on £657m of bookings.


The same picture extends to broadcasting, where the likes of Netflix and Amazon (again) do not have to pay the broadcast licences demanded of ITV. Netflix paid £300k on revenues of around £400m in the UK. ITV paid £71m on similar revenue.


Do you begin to see the problem ?


The Tories are promising an end to austerity, the Labour party has massive, massive spending plans, and the only people left to pay for these are you or I, since there will be no tax revenues for our health service, education or transport system from Big Internet, and there will be no competitors to oay the tax either.


Just the smug smiling billionaires who we seem to admire so much.