Amazon and Google were among the companies singled out that need to pay more taxes by the UK Labour Party’s firebrand shadow chancellor John McConnell during a speech at his party’s conference. The politician, a veteran of Labour’s left wing constituency and close-confidante of newly-appointed leader Jeremy Corbyn, pledged to make sure that big corporations would pay their fair share under a Labour administration.
“We will force people like Starbucks, Vodafone, Amazon and Google and all the others to pay their fair share of taxes,” said McConnell in a barnstorming speech that repped a clear break from the more centrist policies of New Labour under former Prime Minister Tony Blair. “Where money needs to be raised it will be raised from fairer, more progressive taxation. We will be lifting the burden from middle and low-income earners paying for a crisis they did not cause.”
The question of how much corporation taxes the likes of Amazon and Google pay – or avoid paying- in the UK has long been a bone of contention. A so-called “Google Tax” was introduced by chancellor George Osborne early this year to discourage large companies diverting profits out of the the UK to avoid tax. One common way to lessen the tax payable has been for multinational companies, who make big profits in the UK, to headquarter themselves in Ireland where the corporation tax rate is much lower. The likes of Amazon and Apple are currently being investigated by the European Commission over their tax arrangements.