Tuesday, 11 October 2011

All But Two FTSE 100 Firms 'Avoid Paying Tax'

Nearly all of Britain's biggest companies avoid paying tax in the UK. Action Aid found that 98 out of the 100 companies on the FTSE 100 base their operations in territories where there is low or no tax.

The biggest users were based in the financial sector despite the industry's role in the economic crisis, with Britain's four biggest banks - HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS - having 1,649 tax haven companies between them.

Action Aid's tax justice expert Chris Jordan told Sky News that the UK could be missing out on £18bn a year in tax revenues due to the practice.

He said: "Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid.

When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries are left to pick up the bill. Spending on doctors, nurses and other essential services gets cut for those who need it most."

Remember that the next time you hear a news report saying that these business leaders have all signed a letter supporting the cutting of the minimum wage, or cut backs to publuc services.

No comments: