Barely a post goes by without us mentioning Google in one way or another.
Almost always its in glowing respect: ‘Google has a great new product that…”; “Thanks to Google we can now…”
But not this time. Lib Dem economics scalpel Vince Cable has accused the company of not playing fair, after it emerged that Google will pay no UK corporation tax on the £1.6bn it made in Britain this year.
This is because Google’s European headquarters are in Dublin. Any profit is channeled through the Dublin operation, where corporation tax is much lower.
Of course this is no secret. Many large US technology companies have their European or UK headquarters in Dublin: Microsoft, HP, Oracle to name but a few.
But the accusation may cause Google to smart a little since it goes counter to their corporate mantra of ‘do no evil’.
Cable went on to say that this ducking of £450m in tax meant the company was dodging its social responsibilities, felt all the more keenly in this time of recession.
The Sunday Times reported that Google UK employs 770 people and makes 13% of its revenue on these shores. Google UK also donated a measly £5,662 to charity this year. This contrasts with the average £90,000 wage of a UK employee.
Nice work if you can get it ;-)