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Tuesday, 21 May 2013 10:24

British PM tells Google to “be nice” about tax

Written by Nick Farrell



Yeah, that should do it

No one could accuse the British PM of being too hard on multi-national corporates. While David Cameron is looking to the poor to cover all the bills for his government’s austerity measures, and has been accused of missing a trick when it comes to the billions of dollars that big multi-nationals have been avoiding.

On Monday he met with Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and other business leaders as part of an advisory group. He told them that he expected their companies to pay their taxes in exchange for benefiting from low tax rates.

"He said, on tax and transparency, that as part of having very low corporation tax he expects companies who are due to pay tax, to pay that tax," a government source said.

All those present at the meeting agreed with Cameron's position, the source said. We guess provided that it meant that they did not have to pay anything new and the status quo remained. Earlier on Monday, Cameron wrote to Britain's overseas territories, urging them to "get their house in order" over the sharing of tax information.

Google is one of several high-profile companies to face far greater scrutiny of its tax affairs in recent months. Apple Inc., Microsoft and Amazon.com have all been in the spotlight at a time of weak economic growth, high levels of public debt and squeezed household incomes in Britain.

Nick Farrell

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