Labour leader Ed Miliband has condemned internet giant Google for their efforts to avoid paying tax in the UK. In a blog on The Huffington Post UK he wrote of the responsibility of new online companies to stand up for the values they appear to espouse:
At the same time as the internet breaks down old hierarchies, it can also create new vested interests. And, even as the internet connects people across the world, footloose companies can use the global market to avoid facing up to their responsibilities.
Google is said to have paid only £10million in corporation tax in the UK between 2006 and 2011, despite revenues of £11.9billion.
Again, it is not just the right thing to do, it is essential for a prosperous country.
Google shouldn’t be going to extraordinary lengths to avoid paying its taxes. It has an obligation to do more than simply comply with the letter of the law.
Google has done much to open up markets and opportunities for entrepreneurs. It has done some great things for the world.
But it also has an obligation to wider society and to live up to its own foundingprinciples.