In that context, a deal to pay just £130 million – from 2005 – is worse than “trivial”, as described in the Guardian article.
It casts further doubt on George Osborne’s long-disputed claim that he is seriously trying to tackle tax avoidance – and bring down the UK’s national deficit and debt.
Senior MPs have condemned Google’s deal to pay £130m in back taxes in the UK as derisory, with Labour calling for a National Audit Office investigation into the “trivial” settlement.
The search giant said on Friday it had struck an agreement with HM Revenue and Customs to pay tax that it has owed since 2005. Significantly, the company will also now start paying tax on revenue from UK-based advertisers.
Google, along with other multinationals, has used legal methods to lower its tax burden in European countries such as the UK – its biggest market outside the US – but has come under intense political pressure to change its practices.
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said he would ask George Osborne for details of the deal in the Commons on Monday and criticised HMRC for letting Google pay a “relatively small amount”.
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