By Claire West

Labour MP Michael Meacher wrote in his blog yesterday that; “The banks and big businesses are making monkeys out of the government.”

He was referring to reports that suggest; Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Starbucks paid only £33 million in UK corporation tax but estimates say they should have paid £1 billion.

The worrying aspect is that none of this is illegal; money earned in the UK is channelled through Ireland (where the tax rate is just 12.5%).

A report this week by Reuters into Starbucks showed that,’ since it opened in the UK in 1998 the company has racked up over 3 billion pounds in coffee sales, and opened 735 outlets but paid only 8.6 million pounds in income taxes.’
Starbucks told Reuters;
“We don't write this tax code; we are obligated to comply with it. And we do."

Tax campaigner Meacher summed up by saying Starbucks was; "trying to play the taxman, game him. It's disgraceful."