Friday, 22 October 2010

Vodaphone tax bill

In this time of near bankruptcy, or so Mr Osborne claims, every penny counts. The Gov't has slashed public spending by £81bn and the public are starting to hurt. Why then, has their HMRC bloke let Vodafone off a multi billion pound tax bill?

The figure that is going around is £6bn. We don't know if that's true but according to this article in the Guardian, it's a significant amount more than the £1.2bn the mobile phone giant has settled for.

How is this fair? And more to the point - how is it right? If they owe, they should pay. No-one else would be allowed to get away with this. People have gone to prison for not paying their council taxes at sums that are a pittance compared to this.

And there's more. According to the same article

These big companies' tax rate will fall from 28% to 24% over the next four years – a move that seems generous, but quickly becomes ludicrous when it is appreciated that the effective tax rate of the largest companies in the UK is now 21%. This means that over the next four years, it is likely that their effective tax rate (that is, the rate they really pay) will fall to 17%. That's a lower tax rate than small companies will pay. It's lower than our VAT rate will be. It's also lower than our basic rate of income tax.

I don't pretend to know anything about tax but I do know what is fair and what is right. And this is neither.

We don't yet what the situation is with Vodafone, whether the case is completely settles or not. If it is, then there's nothing we can do. If it isn't, let's make ourselves heard now.

Sign the petition to tell Mr Osborne that the British people think Vodaphone should be made to pay their bill, not evade it.

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