One of the concerns raised during last year’s Big Conversation was the way that big corporations are avoiding paying their fair share of tax – often dodging most of the tax due on their UK earnings. So today, when Labour called an ‘opposition day debate’ on the issue, I took the opportunity to press constituents’ views in the Commons.
Criticising the Government for their ongoing failure to tackle tax avoidance, I highlighted the public support for tough action, saying:
“Each year I organise an annual community consultation, and each year there has been growing anger among my constituents about the sense that they are paying their fair share from very ordinary incomes while the level of corporate tax avoidance has been growing out of control as successive Conservative Governments have failed to step up to the mark in tackling it.
We are apparently losing over £1 billion of tax due on UK earnings from just five of the biggest US tech firms; that is money that could pay for more than 42,000 rooms in care homes for people who desperately need them. So does my Rt. Hon. Friend agree that there is enormous public support for tough action on corporate tax avoidance”
Our motion, which noted that tax lost through avoidance “has been estimated at between a minimum of £35 billion and £90 billion”; money that could help restore “the proper funding of public services after a decade of austerity” was defeated by the Government. You can read the full debate here.