Will Johnson really dare to incur Trump’s wrath with digital tax?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was always going to be walking a tightrope politically when it came to his his relations with Donald Trump. While it is vital that he appears to be a leading statesman on the world’s political stage, to be taken seriously by the UK’s electorate, bonding with a president who is extremely unpopular in Britain is an unwise move.
On his two visits to the UK this year, Trump has endorsed Johnson on camera, although when questioned about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn he retorted that he was able to work with anyone, thereby offering a modicum of balance. However, there seems little doubt that the two men inhabit the same right-wing arena, exhibit the same populist tendencies, are famous for their verbal gaffes and even share a similar haircut.
It is also worth remembering that Johnson is relying heavily on trade deals with the US post-Brexit, which many fear will take years to implement, so maintaining that ‘special relationship’ is imperative.
However, it has now emerged that if Johnson does stay in Number 10, he would implement a digital sales tax to boost the coffers of GBplc.
It has been argued for some time that companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook simply do not pay a fair contribution to the tax revenues of countries that they sell to, and it seems that the 2 percent that the PM is suggesting would achieve this.
However, this is where Johnson is walking a tightrope, because when President Macron of France indicated that he was about to do the same thing, Trump threatened to impose taxes on French goods being imported to the States.
Warning that tariffs of up to 100 percent could be added to cheese, wine and fashion items, Johnson clearly lays himself bare to the same treatment.
However £500 million could be secured for the public purse with a 2 percent tax ( less than the 3 percent that France is about to implement ), and is something that Labour has already included in their tax policies in their manifesto.
The PM stated on Tuesday, “ On the digital services tax, I do think we need to look at the operation of the big digital companies and the huge revenues they have in this country and the amount of tax that they pay.”
Will Johnson dare to create this tax and incur Trump’s wrath, perhaps as other countries do the same, especially in Europe, he might find his friends in Europe are actually more ‘special’, than the ones across the Atlantic?
Government After General Election
|Labour – Snp Coalition||12/1|
|Conservative – Dup Coalition||18/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||22/1|
|Labour – Lib Dem Coalition||25/1|
|Conservative – Brexit Party Coalition||33/1|
|Conservative – Lib Dem Coalition||66/1|
|Lib Dem – Snp Coalition||200/1|
|Lib Dem Minority||200/1|
|Conservative – Labour Coalition||300/1|
|Lib Dem Majority||400/1|
|Brexit Party Minority||750/1|