Philip Hammond yesterday, 29 October announced his last Budget ahead of Brexit.
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer said that Britain was open for business, despite announcing the first digital services tax aimed at giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter. The new levy, which would only be paid by large businesses with over £500 million in annual global revenue, will raise £400 million a year. Yet the latest Budget was seen by many as generous as Chancellor Philip Hammond reiterated that the UK will remain the best place to start a tech business.
Philip Hammond kept a firm eye on Brexit. Having said the “end of austerity is coming to an end”, he also caveated that there was still no Brexit deal in place and that the numbers may need to be updated next spring.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled she would not seek re-election as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. Fears that the coalition government could collapse weighed on the Euro, adding to uncertainties over the Italian budget, which caused a stand-off between Rome and Brussels.
Stock markets fell in the US yesterday after reports that the White House was preparing to introduce tariffs on all Chinese exports as early as December, if November talks fail. The ongoing trade tensions boosted the Dollar as investors fled to safe havens.
UK Budget: End of austerity depends on Brexit deal
Brussels rejects Italian budget, sends Euro to two-month low
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