Last night, I, along with his parliamentary colleagues were able to get an important concession from the Government in the Finance Bill on making multinational corporations report where their revenue is raised. This is known as “public country-by-country reporting” because it makes multinationals who operate across several countries report what revenue they have raised around the world.
I was a co-signatory to an amendment written by Labour MP Caroline Flint. The voting for the Bill didn’t finish until nearly midnight, but the wait was worth it to ensure this amendment was passed. The Government finally accepted this common sense amendment which means it will now be included in the Bill.
This amendment was needed as multinational companies, like Google, were taking action to minimise their tax liability in the UK. We were living in the ridiculous situation where multinationals were sometimes paying less taxation that small and medium sized businesses because they had the ability to exploit tax law loopholes.
However, I had also supported the amendment by Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, which sadly was rejected and defeated by the Government. This amendment sought to bring back the annual reports into how the Government’s budgets impacted on households with different incomes. Before the General Election all previous budgets were accompanied by such a report which informed the debate as to whether the Government was helping reduce inequality or worsen it. This was scrapped in the previous budget and has left MPs and experts without the information they need to make policy that tackles inequality.
I was delighted to see the Government accept Caroline Flint’s amendment, which I was a co-signatory of. This will make an important difference to how the UK does business. No longer will multinational businesses be able to hide their affairs from the public. This will mean that our taxation system will be more transparent and fairer.
For too long small and medium sized businesses in Flintshire have had to carry the burden of the taxation that isn’t paid for by these large multinational companies. It has also seen these behemoths of business gaining an unfair advantage against businesses in Flintshire. By introducing this change we are redressing the balance. Making the market place more competitive and helping our local businesses have an equal chance of growth. In the long run this will mean that our taxation system.
Sadly, the Government didn’t accept all our amendments. The much needed reports that show us if the Government is improving or worsening inequality in our country. My core goal representing Delyn is eradicating inequality. Something this Government is not taking seriously. Rest assured I will continue to fight to ensure the Government finally accepts the importance of tackling inequality.