Cameron seeks action on firms that avoid UK corporation tax

DAVID Cameron yesterday told the House of Commons that he was “not happy” with the level of corporate tax avoidance in the UK and urged HMRC to re-examine the current situation.

His comments follow a spate of reports that high-profile firms – such as eBay, Facebook and Google – pay little UK corporation tax.

“This is an international problem that all countries are struggling with, about how to make sure that companies pay tax in an appropriate way,” he said at Prime Minister’s Questions.

“I am not happy with the current situation. I think the HMRC needs to look at it very carefully. We do need to make sure we are encouraging these businesses to invest in our country – as they are – but they should be paying fair taxes as well.”

Last week an investigation by Reuters claimed coffee firm Starbucks paid just £8.6m in UK corporation tax over the last 14 years, on sales of £3bn. On Tuesday Howard Schultz, the firm’s CEO and chairman, hit back, insisting the UK business “adheres to both the letter and spirit of the law”.