Digital tax revenue must be used to boost high streets
01 March 2019
Posted by: Chris Banks
Revenues raised by the new Digital Services Tax must be used to offset crippling business rates bills if the Government is serious about supporting Britain’s high streets, says UKHospitality.
UKHospitality has responded to the Government’s Digital Services Tax consultation, welcoming the proposal as a good first step to providing fairness. UKH has also called on the Government to extend the scope of its positive action announced at last year’s Budget, and use the revenues raised to offset rates bills for high street businesses and others that currently overpay, such as hospitality businesses.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “UKHospitality has repeatedly called for the introduction of a digital tax to level the playing field and better reflect the realities of business in the 21st Century. This is not an attempt to stifle technological development, which has provided benefits for hospitality and wider society, but to ensure that the modern tax system reflects modern business.
“We need the Government to go even further and use revenues raised by the new tax to slash extortionately high costs of business rates on the high street with this new tax rather than let it disappear into Treasury coffers. Hospitality businesses have been crippled by rates and the Government must act to ensure there is some fairness in the way businesses are taxed. If the tax burden is to be fair and proportionate, then action must be taken to alleviate unfair burdens on high streets.
Notes to editors
- UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
- UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
- The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
- For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
- Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
- The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
- Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
- Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
- Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.