Patience is a virtue, they say. After years of discussions but little in the way of progress, the pandemic has spurred the cash-strapped G7 to finally agree a firm tax plan for the super wealthy tech giants. Now they will pay tax where they make their revenues, rather than in the low tax haven of their choice.
It’s an important step, not only for disgruntled nations who have felt cheated, but also for tax fairness, for all non multinationals who are unable, or choose not to get away with such tax liberties. However, we shouldn’t get carried away. It’s not the end of the battle. Lots of details have yet to be thrashed out, while the eventual deal might mean the UK’s share of the tech windfall is not the “huge prize for taxpayers” promised by Rishi Sunak, and there are already signs that the deal could be as disappointing for the UK as it is for its tax-haven neighbour Ireland.
Still, this rosy prospect of big tech paying up and a strong economic recovery as countries emerge fully from lockdown leads to one question: at what point will central banks pull down the shutters on their emergency monetary response to the pandemic crisis?