By Carl Hasty, Director of Smart Currency

Collectively, multinational corporations — apparently — pay the lion’s share of corporation tax in the UK. However in the grand scheme of things, corporate giants, including those not actively avoiding tax responsibilities, arguably make the smallest direct contribution to the British economy.

As we all know, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up the vast majority of businesses in the UK, and employ by far the greatest proportion of employees. In terms of UK Government revenues, it is PAYE income tax and VAT which rake in the most cash. Thus SMEs, through the jobs they create and hence the income tax revenues these jobs generate, are the ones directly responsible for the UK’s economic fortunes.

So it has been disappointing that some of the UK’s most well-known brands, and their directors, have been given so much airtime in the past week to defend their tax avoidance practices.

What the UK, and clearly Europe, desperately needs at the moment is employment to kick-start ailing economies, maintain national living standards and boost revenues to depleted government coffers. Allowing large companies to retain tax practices which are anti-competitive damages not just smaller UK businesses trying to compete while abiding by the rules, but the nation as a whole.

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