Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] — Tax Avoidance and Multinational Companies

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:48 pm on 3rd February 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 2:48 pm, 3rd February 2016

I beg to move,

That this House
notes the agreement reached between HM Revenue and Customs and Google to pay £130 million in respect of taxes due over the period 2005 to 2015;
and calls on the Government to publish the full details so that the British public can judge whether this is, as stated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a major success;
and further calls for a swift international agreement to implement country-by-country reporting of company accounts.

I welcome the Minister who is responding to the debate. I truly sympathise with him as he has been placed in this situation by the Chancellor. I understand that the Chancellor is in Rome today. If it is true that he is associated with the current EU negotiations on the future of our relationship in Europe, may I say that it is unfortunate to say the least that securing a firm agreement on tax avoidance and evasion has not been a core issue in those negotiations so far. It could be a significant missed opportunity for this Government.

We have called this debate today because, over the past 12 days, we have witnessed the most supine capitulation to corporate interest by any British Government in the recent history of this country. Understandably, it has caused immense anger within our community among individual taxpayers, businesses small and large, independent commentators and people across the political spectrum. At a time when many of our constituents were filling in their tax returns and paying their taxes, they saw what the Government were allowing Google to get away with.

Several hon. Members rose