Tech Giants Including Google, Facebook & Amazon Face UK Digital Services Tax

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrives in Downing Street in London

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond arrives in Downing Street in London

"When we first said it in the summer we suggested we might have to raise taxes, we would have to raise taxes, to fund part of that".

"We would take appropriate fiscal measures to protect the economy, to prepare us for the future and to strike out in a new direction that would ensure that Britain was able to succeed, whatever the circumstances we found ourselves in". "I think he has abandoned any idea of getting to budget balance by the mid-2020s".

Mr Hammond also insisted today that the budget was not a stepping stone to another election.

The Chancellor dismissed suggestions that he had chopped down the "magic money tree" and burnt the lot.

The government knows it is unable to get this Budget of broken promises through parliament, so they have evoked an archaic rule that prevents us - the Opposition - from amending their Budget legislation.

The Chancellor's move to reverse previous cuts to UC was "a small increase in generosity compared to the cuts to working age benefits introduced since 2015 and small relative to cuts still to come", said Mr Johnson.

He adds: "However, the lowest paid taxpayers who earn less than the current personal allowance won't see any benefit from this rise in these thresholds, and will reflect on whether a rise in the much lower National Insurance Contributions lower earnings limit would have been a better spending choice".

Amid pressure to back up Mrs May's recent pledge that the end of austerity is in sight, the chancellor announced a £100bn loosening of the purse strings on Monday.

But the spectre of a no-deal Brexit hung over the 72-minute statement, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warning that failure to reach agreement with Brussels would hit the economy hard.

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Suppose the public finance forecasts deteriorate significantly next year?

The personal allowance and the higher rate threshold will rise from April in a move Philip Hammond said would mean "a tax cut for 32 million people".

While total spending, including the effect of inflation, is set to rise, spending as a fraction of national income will fall slightly.

The European Commission is said to be seeking a rate of 3 percent.

He also promised extra funding for health and social care - confirming extra cash for mental health services and £650 million for English councils struggling to cope with rising care bills.

He said detailed departmental allocations would have to wait until the spending review next year by which time the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is expected to have become clear.

As well as giving, there was some taking.

In his budget statement yesterday, Chancellor Phillip Hammond revealed a two percent "digital services tax" on large tech firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

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