Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to stop multinational companies offshoring their tax bills to “lower tax regimes” with measures to force them to pay their fair share in the UK.
The Labour leader met workers at an Amazon depot in Sheffield as he warned big companies they would have to pay taxes on all operations in the UK.
Labour expects the measures would raise £6.3bn for the exchequer in 2024 to help pay for its manifesto plans to nationalise key utilities in a “green industrial revolution”.
Corbyn and shadow employment rights secretary Laura Pidcock set out plans to clamp down on “enablers of tax dodging”, increase HMRC targeted audits and establish an inquiry into the finance sector.
If Labour wins the December 12 election, it would introduce a 20% offshore company property levy, require greater scrutiny of MPs’ tax affairs and scrap non-dom status which gives tax advantages.
Labour was also highlighting existing policies to end in-work poverty with plans to give a £10-an-hour minimum wage for all, ban zero-hours contracts and give every worker full rights from their first day in a job.
The Labour leader told reporters:
We’re here to say to big companies that operate in Britain that in future you’re going to have to pay taxes on all your operations in this country – you will not be able to offshore your tax bill to some lower tax regime.
I think these are just basic issues of social justice and that’s why I’m here this morning.
He said zero-hours contracts would be a “thing of the past” under Labour, and everyone in work would know “exactly what their basic income is going to be”.
Corbyn has long challenged tech giants, previously writing a birthday card to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wishing the company “many happy tax returns” and demanding it pays more UK tax and improves working conditions.
An Amazon spokesperson said:
These claims about Amazon are false. The Government wrote the tax laws and they are designed to encourage investment, and we are investing heavily in creating jobs and infrastructure across the UK – more than £18bn since 2010.
This investment helped contribute to a total tax contribution of £793m during 2018 – £220m in direct taxes and £573m in indirect taxes.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?