Labour Research October 2018


Corbyn ‘on the right track’ with plans to tax media-tech firms

Plans to tax leading media-technology firms, set out in a recent speech by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, would finance much-needed greater diversity in the media, the Unite general union has said.

The union said that Corbyn is “definitely on the right track” with his proposals for a “digital license fee” to help BBC funding and diversity, paid for by a tax on major media-tech businesses and broadband companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Netflix.

It also welcomed the recommendation to establish an independent fund to support public service journalism, again paid for by the media-tech giants. 

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “The big idea in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech is the tax on the technology giants, such as Amazon and Google, to help fund the BBC and also to allow local and independent investigative journalism to flourish.

“For far too long, the powerful media-technology companies have managed to get away with paying ludicrously small amounts of tax to the Treasury, while raking in stupendous profits.These companies can well afford such a tax.”

Burke said this problem needs to be addressed, adding that money raised by the tax could help create more diversity in content and the media, including printed and investigative publications.