Multinational companies that accrue large amounts of revenue in the UK should pay their fair share of tax.
Taxation is what underpins our shared prosperity. All of us, including business, benefit from a healthy, educated and skilled population, with access to basic services and secure housing.
The small tax contributions of some companies such as Amazon indicates the extent to which our corporate tax system has become divorced from the realities of our modern economy. Many multinational companies legally limit their tax liability by employing tactics such as transfer pricing and share awards. Large multinational technological companies are also increasingly shifting profits offshore to tax havens and countries with low-tax regimes.
It is deeply unfair that, while our high streets stores struggle to remain competitive, corporations like Amazon pay so little in tax. In our area and across the country, we have all heard stories about small stores having to compete in the face of non-collection of huge amounts of tax from multinational companies. Ultimately, it is small businesses that will pick up the tab.
The government must act on this matter. I would like to see HMRC given the resources and skills necessary to clamp down hard on individuals and companies who seek to avoid their responsibilities.
At the 2017 General Election, I stood on a manifesto which committed to close down tax loopholes and tackle the social scourge of tax avoidance through a Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme. This would include reversing the cuts to HMRC and restoring staffing numbers with an additional £200 million of funding. It is a massive waste that we have half-empty buildings locally.
I remain committed to pressing for real action to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion, to ensure that those individuals and minority of giant corporations seeking to duck their responsibilities to society pay their fair share.