In a new move, in Great Britain, in the wake of fresh shocks from COVID-19, the main union of journalists is calling upon the government to levy three times taxes on tech giants to support the news industry. Speculations are rife as many as 5,000 journalists may lose jobs if the state does not intervene, as the national lockdown further hits already declining print sales and declining advertising revenue.
“The government should urgently look to increase new digital service tax on tech giants,” opines the National Union of Journalists. This will help to carve a news recovery plan for the long-term.
It is estimated the current proposals by the UK government to levy tax on tech heavyweights could raise as much as GBP 500 million, stated assistant general secretary NUJ.
This plan amounts to two percent. The NUJ is proposing to triple it. If this happens, and treated as a windfall tax, this would represent a considerable immediate injection.
Recently Implemented Service Tax targets Varied Digital Businesses
Meanwhile, the digital service tax, to be effect from April 1, 2020 targets social media services, search engines, and online shops of British consumers, provided the revenue of the company is more than GBP 25 million.
Going by this number, the government would raise GBP 280 million in the first year and GBP 500 million by the end of 2025, as per estimates of the Office for Budget Responsibility.
Earlier, the levy was introduced in response to controversy about foreign-based online platforms such as Facebook and Google that generate massive advertising revenues in the country, buy pay relatively small domestic tax.
“There is common cause between newspaper owners and employers for levying higher digital service tax. These foreign-based platform providers are eating revenues of British advertising channel,” the spokesperson further added.