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Tax Avoidance (UK Companies)

Volume 526: debated on Wednesday 30 March 2011

14. What recent representations he has received on the effect on the economies of developing countries of the tax avoidance practices of UK companies. (49674)

Ministers discuss taxation and development with various parties, with the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury most recently meeting Christian Aid on 8 March. Discussions on protecting developing countries’ tax bases also take place in the OECD tax and development task force and the G20 development working group.

The Minister will be aware that developing countries lose more through the tax avoidance of multinationals than they receive in aid each year. The Business Secretary has in the past supported country-by-country reporting of both profits and tax paid. Is that something the Minister would consider?

I can certainly confirm that we expect all companies and individuals to pay the tax they owe in the countries where it falls due. There is a lot of work now going on, particularly with the G20 development action plan and the global forum on tax transparency, precisely to address the issues that the hon. Lady rightly highlights, and which we must all seek to find the most effective ways of tackling.