Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Google tax deal a disgrace

Perhaps Mr Osborne could tell us when avoiding paying the correct amount of tax stops being "morally repugnant" and develops into "a major success of our tax policy" (Morning Star,27.01.16)? What is really worrying is that Osborne actually admitted he hopes he will see "more firms following suit", in doing "sweetheart" deals, leading to paying paltry amounts of corporate tax, with HMRC. This is a shocking admission of the failure of his anti-tax avoidance policies. Even his "diverted profits tax" is only going to recoup approximately  £600m, but not until 2019!
 Furthermore, the Daily Mirror has discovered that Osborne, policy chief Oliver Letwin, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and ex-Tory chairman, Grant Shapps, are among 17 different Tory ministers to have held talks with Google bosses in recent months. In fact there were at least 24 official meetings with Google in the 19 months between January 2014 and September 2015. If this doesn`t prove that this government is in cahoots with big business, nothing will.
     A government intent on making tax avoiding firms "smell the coffee" would not have reduced staff at HMRC by 20,000. Sadly the idiocy does not stop there; even more ridiculous is that allowing Google to avoid paying 20% tax on its profits rakes in a mere £130m, whilst the plan to create more so-called "efficiency" by closing 137 tax offices, and having 13 new regional centres instead, is part of a plan to cut £100m in costs. For every tax inspector employed, it is calculated three to four times his/her salary is collected in tax.

    Is it any wonder that these multinationals are running rings around our innumerate government?

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