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From: The Socialist issue 886, 27 January 2016: Housing: smash the Tory wrecking bill

Search site for keywords: Tax - Pay - Cuts - Healthcare - Taxes - NHS - Nationalise

Google pays pittance for avoiding 2bn tax

Google HQ, California, United States, photo by Robbie Shade (Creative Commons)

Google hasn't coughed up for a decade - and one estimate suggests it should be paying 200 million a year. Photo by Robbie Shade (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Andrew Carss

State benefits and tax cuts for rich corporations - pay cuts and job losses for the rest of us.

Search engine and advertising giant Google has agreed to pay 130 million in ten years of back taxes. This is a derisory sum considering Google recorded sales in Britain for 2014 alone of 4.5 billion.

The Tax Justice Network estimates it should be paying 200 million every year!

This comes after tax officials proposed in December laughably 'tough' fines of 300 for companies which submit their tax records late. For big firms, 300 will promptly be ignored. They will plough on regardless, hoarding vast profits to stow in offshore tax havens.

And who pays for the taxes they do not pay? We, the working class, in the form of relentless service cuts and pay theft. We didn't create the financial crisis, but we are certainly paying for it.

Meanwhile, the healthcare wing of US mega-corporation GE has taken root in the NHS. It makes hundreds of millions of pounds in sales of equipment and testing services - and apparently pays negative corporation tax!

Through tax benefits, GE Healthcare has actually made a net tax profit of 1.6 million, according to research by the Independent. This will come as an outrage to the hundreds of thousands of NHS staff, living on the edge of a knife, enduring pay freezes and job losses for years.

We cannot trust the Tories' tokenistic efforts to clamp down on tax avoidance. Much can be done to improve tax collection, but closing the loopholes will always be an uphill battle under capitalism.

We demand that all tax avoiding companies be taken into public ownership under democratic working class control.

Nationalise the banking industry too - it is complicit in this extortion, providing safe havens for the bosses' ill-gotten gains.

Take it all off them - and pay no compensation to leeching, fat-cat capitalists!

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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