PARIS — France has adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite threats from the U.S.Just ahead of the vote Thursday, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said allies needed to settle differences “without using threats.”The French Senate estimated that the tax could bring in 400 million euros ($450 million) this year and 650 million next.Late Wednesday, the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China’s technology policies, which led to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.The French digital services tax would impose a 3% annual levy on French revenues of digital companies with yearly global sales worth more than 750 million euros ($844 million) and French revenue exceeding 25 million euros.The Associated Press
The Local Government Association said that motorways and major trunk roads in England are receiving 52 times more government funding per mile than local roads maintained by councils.It called on the Government to reduce the disparity so councils can tackle the £12 billion repair bill to bring local roads up to scratch, including fixing more potholes.In one instance multiple drivers were stranded on the M25 on Boxing Day after five RAC members reported getting punctured tyres after driving over the same single pothole. Councils have been accused of a “patch and dash” mentality when fixing potholesCredit: Danny Lawson/ PA Councils have been accused of a “patch and dash” mentality when fixing potholes after the number of pothole-related breakdowns jumped by 11 per cent. New figures released by the RAC show that the number of calls they received in the last quarter of 2017 with faults likely caused by poor quality road surfaces was 2,830 compared with 2,547 in the same period in 2016. The firm warned that the underinvestment and poor maintenance of roads paired with bad weather conditions had left the condition of many roads “hanging in the balance.”Driving into potholes can cause broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels.An RAC spokesman said: “The heavy rainfall and icy conditions have meant a lot of potholes have appeared. “But the repairing of many potholes is often poor, there is a what we call a patch and dash system. Tarmac is just chucked off the back of a lorry and that’s it fixed, until it’s next icy and then it all crumbles apart.”The firm added that it was highly likely that road conditions would continue to deteriorate in 2018, especially in areas that see extreme weather conditions.RAC chief engineer David Bizley added: “We are still suffering from years of under investment and poor maintenance standards on our local roads and it only takes a sustained period of extreme weather for there to be a significantly increased volume of potholes and crumbling road surfaces. “The patch and dash approach to pothole repairs is just a temporary sticking plaster and a permanent repair should be carried out as soon possible.” Multiple drivers were stranded on the M25 on Boxing Day after driving over the same single potholeCredit: Ben Birchall/ PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.