Socialist Worker

New Google scandal—Tax scam bosses’ bonanza

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2490

There’s no austerity for them. Just days after Google did a sweetheart tax deal with the Tories, the firm has handed vastly more money to its top bosses.

Chief executive Sundar Pichai received £138 million worth of stock in the company—over £38 million more than the company agreed to pay in corporation tax to cover nine years.

But Pichai’s personal haul is insignificant compared to that of Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chair. He owns shares worth £2.2 billion in the company, and is due to get more later this year.

Google is far from finished with its handouts. Chief financial officer Ruth Porat is in line for over £27 million.

The scale of the bosses’ bonanza ­underlines the scandal that chancellor George Osborne agreed Google should pay just £130 million, of which just £97 million was corporation tax, for a period when it is estimated that the firm made around £7.2 billion in profit.

Corporation 

However Google is paying just under £100 million in corporation tax, according to accounts.

That means their effective tax rate is between 2 and 3 percent, when the official rate of corporation tax and the basic rate of income tax is 20 percent.

In the past two years Google representatives held 25 high-level meetings with 17 separate British government ministers.

Osborne flew out to the Superbowl American football event last weekend. The event was sponsored by Google.

Perhaps he discussed tax avoidance with his corporate friends. His family company, in which he has a 15 percent stake, paid no tax on a deal worth over £6 million last year.

There is plenty of money sloshing around in the system for the very richest.

They hoard every penny for themselves and spurn the idea they should even pay their normal taxes.

So long as the corporate giants are allowed to dominate the world they will always only look after themselves.

While we’re all told there is no money for vital services, Labour and the unions should make an unashamed call to tax the rich.

 


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