House of Commons Early Day Motion – 3

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EDM 665

GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER'S TAX GAP SERIES

03.02.2009

Taylor, David

That this House applauds the Guardian's serialised coverage of the tax avoidance industry and its cost to the public; observes that due to the complex and secretive nature of tax avoidance there is no accurate figure for the amount of tax that big business avoids paying in the UK every year; notes that the Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates this annual hole in the public accounts to be £12 billion whilst the Public Accounts Committee puts the figure at £8.5 billion; further notes with concern the National Audit Office's finding that in 2006 more than 60 per cent. of Britain's 700 biggest companies paid less than £10 million corporation tax and 30 per cent. paid nothing; regards companies in the FTSE 100 and others indulging in this highly addictive practice as guilty of corporate malfeasance; seriously regrets that families and small to medium-sized businesses continue to plug this gap through disproportionately higher taxes; regrets the Government and HM Revenue and Customs' decision to close local tax offices at a time when the tax system is under sustained attack from the major accountancy firms on behalf of their corporate clients during a recession; believes that those accountancy firms offering tax avoidance products and advice should be excluded from tendering for public sector contracts until they stop serving this highly destructive and socially irresponsible corporate habit; and calls on the Government to respond formally to the Guardian's findings as part of a wholesale review of the corporate tax system.