March 30, 2023

FTSE 100 gains as UK construction hits six-year high – business live

Rolling live coverage of business, economics and financial markets after US central bank signals support...

Rolling live coverage of business, economics and financial markets after US central bank signals support for “some time”

  • UK construction expands at fastest pace since 2014
  • Stock markets gain after Federal Reserve minutes
  • Australia considering financial support for GFG steel companies
  • Asos triples profits as pandemic proves positive

12.06pm BST

Debenhams is to reopen 97 of its high street stores on Monday for a closing down sale to clear stock before they finally shut their doors on 15 May.

Related: Debenhams to briefly reopen 97 stores in closing down fire sale

12.04pm BST

There could be big changes coming for the global tax system. Reports today suggest that the US has backed a plan for multinationals to pay taxes based on where they make sales.

It would be a huge change – and one for which many tax campaigners will be very keen indeed.

The Biden administration has proposed a new model for taxing multinational corporations, calling for the world’s biggest businesses to pay levies to national governments based on their sales in each country as part of a deal on a global minimum tax.

In documents sent to the 135 countries negotiating international taxation at the OECD in Paris and obtained by the Financial Times on Wednesday, the US Treasury laid out a plan that would apply to the global profits of the very largest companies, including big US technology groups, regardless of their physical presence in a given country.

If countries do not compete on tax rates, logically they will compete on how efficiently they spend the tax revenues. Countries where spending enhances productivity will outperform countries that spend on vanity projects and outdated infrastructure.

Many challenges lie ahead for a global corporate tax agreement. For years the US effective corporate tax rate was below the headline corporate tax rate, because of loopholes and careful accounting procedures. Global standards will be required to prevent that undermining an agreed minimum tax level.

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