The government has outlined plans to stop multinational technology companies funnelling profits offshore to avoid paying tax. Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the plans during his Autumn Statement.
The 'diverted profits tax', or 'Google Tax' as it has been dubbed, will levy 25 percent on profits made in the UK but diverted elsewhere. Osborne claimed that the tax will raise £1bn for the UK economy within five years.
"We will make sure that big multinational businesses pay their fair share. Some of the largest companies in the world, including those in the tech sector, use elaborate structures to avoid paying taxes," he said.
"My message is consistent and clear: low taxes, but taxes that will be paid."
It remains to be seen how the government will enforce the collection of the new tax, especially as technology giants like Google and Amazon have already shown how adept they are at reducing their payments.
A report last year by the Public Accounts Committee blasted Google's corporate tax arrangements, under which it paid just $16m to the taxman between 2006-11, saying that it damaged the reputations of Google and HM Revenue & Customs.
Google has always maintained that its actions are within the law.
Osborne also revealed plans to commit £250,000 to new a centre for advanced material science in Manchester, to be called the Sir Henry Royce Institute, which will have branches in Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.
The chancellor explained that the government will support the work on big data computing being done at the Science and Technology Facilities Council at Hartree in Swindon, but did not announce any specific funding for this work.
Last year's Autumn Statement promised an investment of £270m over the next five years to accelerate UK research into quantum technology, which has started to filter through with recently unveiled plans for new Quantum Technology Hubs.
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