We understand from the BBC that the Treasury is angry at what it calls “grandstanding” by Margaret Hodge and her committee over foreign companies and taxation. Apparently the Treasury thinks big business will be put off coming to Britain because of the threat of public humiliation at the hands of Hodge and the Public Accounts Committee, which has questioned Google, Amazon and Starbucks over their tax affairs.
We firmly support the position taken by Ms Hodge and the PAC: if a business earns profits in the UK, it must pay the full amount of taxation in this country. Any suggestion that “special measures” or exceptions to our universal laws should be made are outrageous no matter what lobbying is made of our Government including the Treasury.
We are curious, however, whether Google is behind such lobbying. We have no idea whether it has met the Treasury or whether it has asked for special treatment. But we are aware that our Government seems to be completely dazzled by Google which has a level of political access not enjoyed by many other businesses. Surely someone should do a Freedom of Information request to discover how many times Google’s representatives have met Government ministers and officials. The results would be highly illuminating without a doubt.