Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond poses for the media as he holds up the traditional red dispatch box, outside his official residence 11 Downing Street before delivering his annual budget speech to Parliament in London, Monday, Oct. 29, 2018.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The Latest: UK to tax big internet companies' revenue

October 29, 2018 - 11:26 am

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the British government's public spending plans (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Britain's U.K. Treasury chief says the government will introduce a tax on big internet companies' revenues, saying the nation could not negotiate forever with other countries in coming up with a global solution.

Philip Hammond announced a "digital services tax" as he unveiled his budget Monday to the House of Commons. He says the tax will be "narrowly-targeted tax" on the U.K.-generated revenues of specific digital platform business models.

He said it will be structured to ensure that "established tech giants rather than our tech startups shoulder the burden." It will only apply to firms making 500 million pounds ($650 million) a year in global revenues.

The text will come into effect in April 2020 and is forecast to bring in 400 million pounds a year.  

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10:55 a.m.

Britain's Treasury chief is planning to pour 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) into mental health services as he delivers his final budget before the country leaves the European Union.

Philip Hammond's infusion is one of the expected highlights of the spending blueprint to be delivered to the House of Commons on Monday. He's also signaled he intends to increase National Health Service funding by 20 billion pounds a year by 2023 without raising taxes.

But Hammond may not yet be ready to ease the austerity implemented by a series of Conservative-led governments after the global financial crisis despite public pressure to ease the pain now.

He has urged caution, saying plans to increase spending could be thrown off track if Britain fails to secure a Bexit deal that protects trade.

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