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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Dominic Lipinski/PA Images The UK's Royal Mint has minted coins to commemorate a number of historical events.
# coinage
Britain is getting a new 50p coin to commemorate Brexit
The UK’s Budget also contained plans for a digital services tax.

BRITAIN IS TO introduce a new coin to commemorate Brexit.

The move was first reported by the The Sun and was confirmed this afternoon when UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond delivered his Budget statement.

The Sun reports that the commemorative coin will be a 50p piece and will be available when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

In budget documents published today, the UK treasury confirmed plans for the coin:

The Royal Mint has a long-established tradition of producing coins in order to commemorate historic moments, including the 2012 Olympics, the UK’s accession to the European Economic Community, and the centenary of the First World War. In line with this tradition, the Royal Mint will produce a coin to commemorate the UK leaving the European Union. This coin will be available in Spring 2019.

In today’s Budget, Hammond also announced the introduction of a new digital services tax aimed at tech giants from 2020.

The move comes in response to public outrage over low tax payments by tech multinationals.

“It is only right that these global giants with profitable businesses in the UK pay their fair share,” Hammond told parliament.

Hammond said the tax would be introduced from April 2020 and would apply only to profitable businesses that generate at least £500 million (€562 million) a year in global revenues.

The tax is expected to raise £400 million (€451 million) a year, he said, adding that more details would be revealed later while stressing that it would not be a tax on online sales.

Hammond added that Britain would also continue to press for “international corporate tax reform for the digital age”.

He quipped that he was “looking forward” to getting a call from former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who was named as Facebook’s new head of global affairs earlier this month.

There is political and public unease over the levels of taxes paid by tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Facebook earlier this month said its British tax bill tripled to £15.8 million last year compared with £5.1 million in 2016.

Facebook UK’s revenues meanwhile swelled by 50% to £1.26 billion last year compared with 2016.

There has been particular concern in Britain about online shopping giants such as Amazon undercutting traditional retailers.

Today’s tax rules were designed for when multinationals developed real assets and operations in different nations, making it relatively clear where taxes were due.

But the US tech titans exist almost exclusively in the virtual world, their services piped through apps to smartphones and tablets from designers and data servers oceans away.

The European Commission has proposed a European tax on “big tech” with substantial digital revenue in Europe, based on overall revenue in Europe and not just profits.

Ireland has been one of the biggest opponents to the tax, arguing that a growing number of countries are grumbling about hidden problems with the tax, including that it could inadvertently snag European companies.

There is also concern as to what consequences might flow from such a plan at a time against the backdrop of a potential full-blown EU-US trade war.

With reporting by © – AFP 2018

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