As the Guardian has reported:
GlaxoSmithKline lent its support to the UK economy on Tuesday by pledging to hire more staff and pay more taxes – in stark contrast to its US rival Pfizer, which is shutting a key centre in southern England.
Glaxo's chief executive, Andrew Witty, reiterated that the government's patent box – which will offer lower rates of corporation tax on profits generated from the fruits of UK research and development from 2013 – had made the UK more attractive. He has previously attacked British companies that relocate in search of lower taxes, lambasting businesses that turn themselves into "mid-Atlantic floating entities" with no connection to society.
Of course I welcome this, but only cautiously.
GSK has a long history of tax avoiding, on transfer pricing and of usingof tax havens.
So this change is welcome - but I'll be convinced when I see the evidence. So my challenge to GSK is a simple one. Adopt country-by-country reporting and then we'll know if you are delivering the tax we expect. Doing so would make you a real world leader.
Bite the bullet: walk the talk and show us you pay your tax to build the type of society - the democratic society that supports health for all paid for from tax - that is the only sustainable base for your business.
If you don't this is welcome - but only as a gesture.
The choice is yours: gestures, or the real thing?