Google will apparently pay £130m in tax for the past ten years despite making $6.4bn alone last year from sales made here the UK. This is an insult most of us who pay their tax without question. For 85% of people their tax contribution comes straight out of their pay cheques. They are rightly furious when we see these big businesses using every trick in the book to avoid paying what they should into the common pot.
Residents have seen a real decline in public services due to Government cuts. Children’s centres have closed their doors, the One Stop Shop in Barking has gone and parents are struggling to get the school place they want for their children. If these big businesses paid what they owed our public finances would be a lot healthier.
Small business are rightly fed up. We all know how the taxman pursues them for the smallest mistake. They don’t get to have cosy meetings with tax collectors like these large corporations.
It is anti-business. It’s not just Google, we know that Starbucks and Amazon avoid taxes in the UK. Because they don’t have to pay more in taxes it allows them to make their products much cheaper and kills off our local independent bookshops and coffee shops, which we need to keep out high streets alive.
Tax avoidance has been the focus of my work in Parliament. Residents may remember when I took Google, Amazon and Starbucks to task over their tax avoidance schemes. This Parliament I have set up a new Parliamentary Group on responsible tax to put pressure on the Government to tackle these issues. This is an area I am passionate about and I will keep up the fight to ensure that everyone pays their fair share.