Socialist Worker

Google pays some tax and Osborne goes in a chopper

Issue No. 2488

Google has agreed to pay back £130 million in back taxes, which is nice of them.

It follows an “open audit” of its accounts by investigators from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The US online search firm said the payment covered back taxes since 2005.

In 2014 Google’s US parent company revealed it earned £3.3 billion in the UK last year. But Google UK Limited paid just £20.4 million in UK corporation tax on its enormous £642 million turnover.

Google used subsidiaries in Ireland and Bermuda to legally avoid £1.2 billion in taxes in 2012.

Downing Street refused to back boasting baron George Osborne after he claimed Google’s tax deal was a “major success”.

George Osborne received an £8,000 helicopter ride from a property-developing Tory donor.

Going down

Countywide Developments is run by property mogul Tony Gallagher, and has donated £787,879 to the Conservatives since 2010.

The chopper dropped Osborne off at a Conservative Party dinner.

Chief whip and local MP Mark Harper had already briefed the chancellor on a £100 million local planning development in Cinderford in Forest of Dean.

The 138 guests enjoyed duck confit and roast beef.

Happily Gallagher Estates already has an interest in the economic success of the area.

It boasts three residential development sites and a retail park all within 25 miles of Cinderford.

The Belgian government has unveiled a new resource to help refugees—a flirting guide. The guide will be included in brochures sent to refugee centres across Belgium following attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. The Daily Mail declared that this would give refugees lessons in “civilised flirting”. Tips include “be funny” and “make eye contact, but don’t stare”.

Expensive confetti bill at Network Rail

GREEDY Network Rail bosses have blown £19 million of our cash on luxuries in the past three years.

The fat cats splashed out £631,000 on taxis, spent £26,770 on dinners —at £198 a meal—£8,600 on Apple iPhones and £1,600 on flowers.

M&S hampers costing up to £20,000 were also paid for using the company credit cards.

Staff spending between April 2012 and October 2015 shows a further £1,872 was splashed out on dining at two

five-star hotels in London.

They also blew £1,700 for a six-night stay at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco for one boss.

And a total of £27.70 was spent on trainshaped confetti to decorate tables at a rail conference in 2012.

It is funded by track charges, property revenue along with government funding, which was £3.7 billion in 2014.

Destroyed ‘to avoid embarassment’

Readers who have been missing the “Edstone” should steel themselves for some sad news. The two-ton slab, brought out to help former Labour leader Ed Miliband win last year’s general election, seems ot have been destroyed.

Two party officials have claimed that it was terminated soon after Labour lost to avoid “further embarrassment”.

They also mentioned that the stone had cost nearly £8,000.

But this doesn’t appear in the party’s accounts in the run-up to the election due to an “administrative error”.

Items not left off include £600 spent on chicken suits and £4,742 to “produce and install pink graphics” on a minibus used by Harriet Harman.

Carers cut for blind people

HEARTLESS Tories have scrapped social care funding for 12,415 blind or partially sighted pensioners.

It means those who rely on help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, cooking, cleaning, washing, dressing and eating could be left to their own devices.

A joint investigation by Age UK and the Royal National Institute of Blind People found that poverty-stricken over-65s had been disproportionately affected by the loss of public services due to cuts.

Around half of all blind and partially sighted elderly people live alone.

A shortage of bankers?

Troublemaker is worried by a skills shortage.So is Martin Gilbert (above), chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management. He said HSBC and Standard Chartered bankswould struggle to find new bosses without more money.

He said, “There’s a shortage of bank chairmen. If we ask them to work full-time, or four out of five days a week, they should be compensated accordingly.”


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Article information

The Troublemaker
Tue 26 Jan 2016, 16:32 GMT
Issue No. 2488
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