Chancellor Philip Hammond considering 'Amazon tax' for online retailers

The UK's catapult centres are getting a fresh boost

"This new funding backs Britain's brightest talent, supporting work in high-tech labs, cutting-edge factories and advanced training centers", said a spokesperson from HM Treasury.

Philip Hammond has suggested the Government is planning a special tax on online retailers in a bid to save the high street. Unemployment is at its lowest since the 1970s, our national debt is starting to fall, and the economy has grown every year since 2010.

The funding is in addition to £180 million announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in the North East last month.

The chancellor also told Sky News that while he was encouraged by the 0.4% GDP growth figures on Friday, the economy remained weaker than it would have been had the United Kingdom not voted for Brexit.

"We're very clear that you have to support the high street through that process of change".

He added: "Under the Chequers deal we expect that the economy will grow at broadly the rate as it did inside the EU".

Mr Hammond was meeting apprentices and staff at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry, which has received £122 million of the government cash and is now a world-leader in 3D printing, including development of a process to build Rolls-Royce aeroplane engine parts. This high-tech facility has benefited from £122 million of government funding, and is now a world-leader in 3D printing.

The UK has a reputation for innovation and is building on this strength with the largest investment in research and development in 40 years. Bringing together academics and businesses to develop new technologies will support areas of our daily lives from the next generation 5G mobile network to improving scanning at airport security. It brings together the best of United Kingdom business, science and engineering to work side by side in research and development to "catapult" products from ideas to market.

Dr Ian Campbell, interim executive chair of innovate United Kingdom, said: "Today's significant announcement means our world-class network of catapults can build on their success and continue helping thousands of businesses across the United Kingdom to undertake innovative R&D".

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