Tax Avoidance February 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the tax affairs of multinational companies.

I know from the large number of letters and e-mails I have received on this issue that many local people are understandably 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%.

I believe 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

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

I can assure you that the Shadow Frontbench have kept the pressure on the Government with regard to the deal with Google and the tax affairs of multinational companies more generally.

It is campaigners for tax justice who have forced this issue on to the agenda and I appreciate your time in contributing to those efforts by writing to me.