1 February 2016
Today John McDonnell, shadow chancellor, published his tax return.
McDonnell is urging chancellor George Osborne to do the same and enforce the practice in businesses, in light of Google’s tax row.
I can’t help but agree. All firms should be publishing their tax returns.
In all honesty, it would certainly help me to choose my suppliers if I knew which companies were deliberately taking money out of the UK economy.
Every pound that these global firms take offshore impacts upon the country. For every pound spent with UK businesses, a percentage of that is tax, another percentage is corporation tax and the remaining, say 60p, is put back into the economy. It goes towards helping our country grow.
Money generated in this country should be spent in this country to help our country’s economy grow, right?
I imagine that there would be a significant number of businesses in the FTSE 100 who would think twice about some of their arrangements if all their potential clients could see how much tax they were offshoring. Of course, it is perfectly legal and many of the big firms are able to be part of these schemes quite easily.
I also believe that it should have a bearing on public sector procurement too. There should be a ban on the government and public sector procuring services from firms who evade tax. They are generating no tax receipts from these companies so why do they continue to award them huge contracts?
I am often asked why we don’t do that sort of thing at UKFast. In the early days, these schemes are expensive to set up and are cost-prohibitive. As we’ve grown bigger, whilst we would be able to do this but ultimately it’s a matter of ethics. I’ve grown up as a British person and I think it’s completely unethical to bleed money from the economy that has supported me on my journey as an entrepreneur.