Prime Ministerial candidate Boris Johnson has said the government needs to find a way to increase tax on the internet’s leading brands.
The comments, made yesterday by the divisive politician as part of a leadership hustings event in York, called on the government to bring tax in line with those paid by other UK businesses.
“I think it’s deeply unfair that high street businesses are paying tax through the nose… whereas the internet giants, the FAANGs — Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — are paying virtually nothing,” he said.
“We’ve got to find a way of taxing the internet giants on their income, because at the moment it is simply unfair.”
Tech giants have long been criticised for the tax they pay in the UK.
Amazon almost halved its declared UK corporation tax bill from £7.4m in 2016 to £4.5m in 2017.
It received a tax credit of £1.3m from the UK authorities in 2016, and last year paid £1.7m tax on its profits.
The remarks were made in the same week that government watchdog, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) brought forward its plans to launch wide-reaching investigation into the tech giants.
The CMA investigation will reveal if the likes of Google and Facebook hold a monopoly on personal data which is negatively impacting business and consumers.