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

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:11 pm on 3rd February 2016.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 3:11 pm, 3rd February 2016

The first point to make is that this is a debate on the operation of the tax law as it stands, not on how people might want it to be, and to be fair to HMRC, it can only collect the tax that is due under the law as it stands, not as how people might want it to be. On reform of this area, there is no reason why we should not debate these matters. However, with regard to a move towards taxing profits on the basis of sales—there is a perfectly respectable case for reform in that direction—I would be worried about the impact on, for example, the UK’s creative and scientific sectors. I have mentioned the video games sector, and one could also look at pharmaceuticals. There are a number of areas where the UK—businesses in our constituencies—would lose out in those circumstances, so I would be a little wary about it.