Revenues raised by the new Digital Services Tax must be used to offset crippling business rates bills if the Government is serious about supporting Britain’s high streets, says UKHospitality.

UKHospitality has responded to the Government’s Digital Services Tax consultation, welcoming the proposal as a good first step to providing fairness. UKH has also called on the Government to extend the scope of its positive action announced at last year’s Budget, and use the revenues raised to offset rates bills for high street businesses and others that currently overpay, such as hospitality businesses.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “UKHospitality has repeatedly called for the introduction of a digital tax to level the playing field and better reflect the realities of business in the 21st  Century. This is not an attempt to stifle technological development, which has provided benefits for hospitality and wider society, but to ensure that the modern tax system reflects the modern business.

“We need the Government to go even further and use revenues raised by the new tax to slash extortionately high costs of business rates on the high street with this new tax rather than let it disappear into Treasury coffers. Hospitality businesses have been crippled by rates and the Government must act to ensure there is some fairness in the way businesses are taxed. If the tax burden is to be fair and proportionate, then action must be taken to alleviate unfair burdens on high streets.