Google Need to Pay their Way

I know from the large number of letters and e-mails I’ve received on the issue of tax affairs of multinational companies that many local people are concerned at the deal between Google and HMRC, first reported in the media on the 22nd January.

It is important in our tax system that everybody is treated equally and fairly, whether large multibillion-pound corporations or small businesses. However, some independent experts have suggested that the effective tax rate faced by Google is now about 3%.

Labour’s view is that the Government should publish details of the deal and how it was reached and give assurances that the agreement does not create a precedent for future deals with large technology corporations. It is only right that the public is given greater clarity on the specifics of the settlement reached. It is important for public trust that the Government is fair and transparent in its dealings with multinational companies.

The Government should also halt the programme of HMRC staffing cuts which is undermining morale and removing the staff with the collective experience and expertise at collecting these taxes.

You may be aware that the Shadow Frontbench have pressured the Government concerning the deal with Google and the tax affairs of multinational companies more generally but it is campaigners for tax justice who have forced this issue.

Hilary Benn
MP for Leeds Central

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