‘Someone has to pay tax right now – and I would prefer it to be tax avoiding companies.’ It’s a pity Boris does not agree

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As the Mail has reported:

The Mayor of London has jumped to the defence of Starbucks, arguing people should not ‘sneer’ at its decision to pay £20million in corporation tax. 

As the also report:

Boris Johnson yesterday applauded the decision [by Starbucks to voluntarily pay £20 million of tax] and said it showed ‘good corporate citizenship’. Interviewed on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Johnson also appeared to endorse companies which pay as little tax as possible.

He described the issue of tax as a ‘difficult one’, adding: ‘I cannot exactly blame the finance directors of these companies for doing their job. Their salaries and livings depend on minimising tax exposure obligations on their companies.’

There are two sides to the story though:

Last night campaigners hit back at the mayor’s comments. Tax accountant Richard Murphy said: ‘If Boris Johnson is saying it’s OK for companies to avoid paying tax then what he is really saying is he wants ordinary people to pay that tax instead. It really is us or them. Someone has to pay it – and I would prefer it to be tax avoiding companies.’

And that's why Johnson is wrong.