'Robot tax' would damage job creation, claims Institute of Economic Affairs

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Starship Technologies robot delivery vehicle

A robot tax aimed at protecting jobs would instead deter the creation of new ones, according to a report from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Such a tax would protect only 15% of UK workers’ jobs while hindering businesses’ ability to expand and gain investment, according to the right-leaning think tank’s report, which also says there is “little evidence at the moment that job displacement is moving faster than the economy’s ability to develop new types of employment”, citing “gig economy” workers as an example.

It argues that such employment has grown because the UK labour market is less regulated than many other European countries and that higher-paid jobs are also growing.

Len Shackleton, author of the report and editorial research fellow at the IEA, said: “While the future may be uncertain, we should not be pushed into premature and damaging policy interventions on the basis of fears and panics.”

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