Thank you for contacting me about the #ShowMeTheMoney amendment to the Finance Bill. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the debate on 29th June due to other commitments, however the Finance Bill is still passing through the House.
I too agree that transparency and the accountability that follows, is essential to democracy. The Government has already been clamping down hugely on avoidance and evasion wherever it occurs and has led the way in calling for public country-by-country reports.
However, I do not believe this amendment would help to achieve the objectives. According to legal advice, the amendment would, in practice, place a requirement only on UK-headquartered multinationals. Foreign-headquartered multinationals such as Google would not be incorporated in this way, undermining the transparency objective of the amendment. The amendment also risks putting UK multinationals at a competitive disadvantage by imposing a reporting requirement that does not apply to foreign competitors.
Therefore, whilst I support the principle of the Bill, I do not believe applied in practice, the amendment would have the desired effect. The work carried out so far by the Government to open up the conduct of leading companies to ensure taxes are paid, has led to changes in practice and collected an extra £100 billion in the last Parliament. Yield from compliance activity - dealing with aggressive tax avoidance, evasion and fraud - rose to a record £26.6 billion in 2014/15. This included £7.3 billion from the 2,000 largest and most complex businesses in the UK. This I feel is the right course of action to commit to at this time.
I was most pleased to see Theresa May's personal commitment to ensuring businesses paid their full dues and act in a responsible way, in a speech she made on Monday 11th July, outlining her vision for the future of the United Kingdom.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.