In a landmark session yesterday, the scale of corporate tax dodging by some of the biggest global corporations – Amazon, Starbucks and Google – was exposed by a House of Commons Committee.
The pressure for Government action to tackle corporate tax dodging was racheted up several notches, by a session of the Public Accounts Committee which showed up the tax dodging practices of Amazon, Google and Starbucks for what they are – disreputable, immoral and indefensible.
Headlines in today’s papers tell the story: “Amazon, Starbucks and Google lashed by MPs over elaborate schemes that deprive Britain of millions” (Daily Mail) “MPs condemn Starbucks, Amazon and Google over immoral ‘tax avoidance schemes’” (Times); “You make a mocha-ry of tax law” (Daily Mirror)
In a three-hour inquisition:
- Google admitted funnelling profits to a company in the tax haven of Bermuda;
- Starbucks said it had a deal with the Dutch government to minimise its tax bill and ‘buys’ coffee through Switzerland even though the beans never touch Swiss soil;
- Amazon admitted basing its European operations in Luxembourg because of the low tax there and also claimed not to know its UK turnover.
As Simon Hoggart of the Guardian commented:
“Once the report influenced by Monday’s session is produced, it will be difficult for the government to do nothing. These buffoonish executives might have cost their companies billions – something few of us can claim.”
Over the past 10 days Church Action on Poverty supporters have emailed more than half of all MPs to call for tough action to tackle tax dodging.
If you haven’t already done so, add your voice now!