John Lewis boss urges action on foreign firm tax payments

THE managing director of retail chain John Lewis last night called on the government to examine the way foreign multinationals pay tax in the UK.

Andy Street said the Treasury needs to do more to prevent the likes of online retailer Amazon “destroying the UK tax base” and potentially putting British companies out of business.

Street said international firms operating in Britain but based in low-tax countries posed a threat to the long-term future of British companies.

“You have got less money to invest if you are giving 27 per cent of your profits to the exchequer than if you are domiciled in a tax haven,” he told Sky News. “So they will out-invest and ultimately out-trade us and that means there will not be the tax base in the UK. So I do think it is an issue that needs to be examined.”

Street was echoing concerns raised by MPs on Monday who criticised Amazon, Google and Starbucks executives for not paying more tax in Britain.