Search engine is still not paying enough into the pot
Tax settlements between Google and the UK government have been far from ‘glorious’, according to a senior government minister.
The admission by the Tory business secretary, Sajid Javid, came as a senior executive from Google expressed that he could not say how much UK profit has been generated by the technology firm in the past decade.
An agreement was made nine days ago with Google and the government, in which £130m will be paid in back taxes covering the last 10 years.
George Osborne, the chancellor, initially labelled the agreement a ‘major success’, but Mr Javid told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he shared the feeling of many people that there was a sense of ‘injustice’ with the deal.
Small and medium sized businesses don’t have the option of speaking directly to the government about their tax affairs.
Mr Javid was asked if he agreed it was unfair that a large corporation like Google could speak directly to HMRC.
He said: “I speak with thousands of companies, small- and medium-sized as well as of course large companies, and there is a sense of injustice with what they see.
“They do look at this and they say, ‘Look, I don’t operate all these multiple jurisdictions around the world, I can’t shift profits around, what about me, where’s the level playing field?’ and I share that sense and the sort of sense of unfairness that exists.”
Mr Javid rejected the accusation that the UK Government is defending the island’s tax haven status from EU attack.
“I don’t think that’s the case at all,” he said.