UKHospitality has welcomed the Chancellor’s reference to the introduction of a tax for digital businesses and called on the Exchequer to ensure that online businesses pay their fair share.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The taxation system must evolve to keep pace with the impacts of the rapid rise in digital business so the Chancellor’s proposals are certainly welcome.

“High street businesses, particularly hospitality businesses, are facing an enormous tax inequality and the Government desperately needs to take proactive steps to address this to help support vital businesses in the heart of communities.

“Hospitality businesses are at a particular disadvantage, paying 10% of all business rates despite only generating 3% of turnover. As it stands, the hospitality sector is overpaying business rates by £1.8 billion per year.

“Revenues from taxing digital companies can be used to slash the burden on high street properties hardest hit by business rates, while the Government reviews the tax system and implements one that is fit for the 21st Century.

“UKHospitality has been pushing the Exchequer for tax reform and we will continue our dialogue to make the point that digital businesses need to pay their fair share.”