The fact that Facebook only paid £4,327 in corporation tax does not simply "add to the debate about how to ensure multinationals make fair tax payments", but reveals yet again the government`s feeble attempts to tackle the problem (Facebook`s £35m staff bonus - and £43277 tax, 12/10/15). Which companies are actually "smelling the coffee" because of their "morally repugnant" practices, as they were warned they would be, by Cameron and Osborne back in 2013, or reeling because Osborne`s "diverted profits tax" is planned to recoup a mere £600m, but not until 2019?
A government which makes huge cuts in its tax collecting agency cannot seriously be seen as an enemy of the tax avoider, and recent reductions in the numbers of tax inspectors at HMRC have also meant that fewer tax inspections in the construction industry are allowing employers to flout laws on bogus self-employment. The number of inspections in the construction industry has fallen from 5330 in 2012-2013 to 2420 in 2014-5, which means more employers are paying little or no national insurance for the majority of their workers. The number of construction firms fined for such illegal practices has fallen from 57 in 2012-13 to 5 in 2014-5.
Can we believe anything the prime minister and chancellor say?