Thursday 3 June 2021 / 8:20 AM Economy / Rachel Reeves

Labour calls on Government to stop letting the biggest multinationals off £131 million per week – and use the money to fund our NHS instead

  • Labour urges Government to back President Biden’s global minimum corporate tax rate that would bring billions back to Britain and stop our high streets being undercut by the likes of Amazon and Google.
  • Biden’s original proposal for a new global minimum corporation tax rate of 21 per cent could raise £14.7 billion for Britain every year – more than would be required to fix the NHS funding shortfall.
  • However, the Government intends to water this agreement down to 15 per cent – letting big multinationals off £6.8bn or £131 million per week.
  • “Boris Johnson is gifting the biggest multinationals £131 million a week. Labour says let’s fund our NHS instead.”

Labour have today [Wednesday] penned an open letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, ahead of the G7 Finance Ministers meeting on Friday.

Reeves has urged the Government to show global leadership on tax avoidance and secure a pact to get the likes of Amazon, Google and other big multinational companies to pay their fair share.

The Party are calling on the Chancellor to back the 21 per cent rate on a global minimum corporate tax rate originally set out by President Biden, rather than risk a weaker agreement of 15 per cent – saying the Government are letting big multinationals off £131 million per week which could be used to fund the NHS and other public services instead.

Labour are calling for the Chancellor to provide an update this weekend on an agreement on a 21 per cent global minimum rate of corporate tax, and an outline of how all countries – including the UK – will be able to collect taxes that are currently being avoided.

Failure to reach an agreement risks stopping billions coming back to Britain from undertaxed multinationals and online giants like Amazon and Facebook who aren’t paying their fair share.

The IPPR has this week highlighted that a 21 per cent global minimum rate of corporate tax would raise £14.7 billion for Britain every year – more than would be required to fix the NHS funding shortfall.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves MP, marked the pact as “a once in a generation opportunity to stop huge multinationals avoiding British tax and undercutting British businesses, as well as arresting the global race to the bottom on corporate taxation.”

But Britain is still the only country to not back the plan, with Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan backing Biden’s proposal.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves MP, said:

“This week is a chance for the Government to back British business and help our public services rebuild out of the pandemic.

“Boris Johnson is gifting the biggest multinationals £131 million a week. Labour says let’s fund our NHS instead.”

“Now that we’re out of the EU we have even more reason to show global leadership in cracking down on tax avoidance.

“Yet this government seems set on weakening a deal that would bring billions back to Britain and stop our high streets being undercut by the likes of Amazon, Google and other big multinationals.

“If the Government is serious about seeing our high streets thrive, they must make sure the businesses on them – whether it’s on Armley Town Street in my constituency, or Market Square in the Chancellor’s – have a level playing field.”