I have had a number of emails over the past few weeks from constituents concerned about Amazon and the company’s tax arrangements.
I agree that multinational companies that collect large amounts of revenue in the UK should pay their fair share of tax. It is simply unacceptable that in 2017 Amazon’s main UK subsidiary paid only £1.7 million in tax, despite a UK turnover of £2 billion.
From my 13 years working at a Trade Union, I know just how much ordinary people suffer when the power of big corporations is not kept in check.
I am concerned that 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. It is deeply unfair that, while our high streets stores struggle to remain competitive, corporations like Amazon get away with paying so little in tax.
I would like to see HMRC given the resources and skills necessary to clamp down hard on those few individuals and companies who seek to avoid the responsibilities that the rest of us meet.
At the 2017 general election, I stood on a Labour manifesto which committed to close down tax loopholes and tackle 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.
I understand that the current Government is reportedly considering an ‘Amazon Tax’ for online platform businesses, based on value generated. I can assure you that I will remain committed to pressing for real action to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion