23 October 2015
It has long frustrated me that multi-national businesses have a way of avoiding paying tax in the UK and Europe despite doing significant amounts of business here.
This week Starbucks was highlighted for not playing by the rules. Both Fiat Chrysler and Starbucks have been told that they must pay back up to €30m (£22m) in taxes after European tax breaks were ruled illegal.
It is such a shame that companies that have such a huge presence on our high street and everyday lives are not helping to grow the economy in which they are thriving.
I remember in 2011 UKFast paid 300% more tax than Facebook, and back then, if you added all of the tax that Starbucks had paid since its inception, UKFast had paid more.
What a shame!
Whilst there are measures in place that are trying to nurture the growing startup community in the UK, the government is still squeezing SMEs. It is an incredibly positive step to see these big multi-national companies being pulled up for not paying their way in Europe, but more needs to be done to level the playing field.
I have always said that it is smaller businesses that are the most innovative. Big corporations move slower and can’t react as quickly as an SME full of talented people. So if we want the UK to be a world-leader economically, it’s the little guys our government should be looking out for.
I will always champion buying British because of the simple fact that I love Britain and want my investments to be channelled back into the British economy by tax-paying businesses. It’s the same reason my company will never avoid paying its fair share. I want our success to feed back in to the health care system, the education system and all the other public services that make this country great.
What do you think? Should the government be putting more measures in place to hit tax evasion and ease the strain on SMEs?