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Monday, 20 May 2013 09:41

Schmidt faces British PM

Written by Nick Farrell



Please do not tax us mate

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is to meet David Cameron today and it is not clear if the British Prime Minister will mention the Internet company's tax affairs.

The meeting is a routine one and has been long-planned, will include other high-profile business people. Officially tax evasion is not on the agenda but it might be something that is unavoidable. The group meets quarterly to give Cameron high level advice on critical business and economic matters facing Britain. 

Google faced angry questions last week from British lawmakers investigating its tax affairs over whether it had misled parliament in testimony last year. Cameron is desperate to appear more popular as his party implodes over European membership. The Brits are miffed that he has forced austerity on the UK’s poor while letting Google and other big multinationals avoid taxes. It is likely that he will close corporate tax loopholes or ask Google to make a more reasonable tax contribution to avoid any legal action.

Already prominent parliamentarians have questioned Schmidt's continued status as a member of Cameron's Business Advisory Group given what some of them have classed as his company's "amoral" attitude towards paying tax.
Google's Northern Europe boss, Matt Brittin, was called back to testify to parliament's Public Accounts Committee after a Reuters investigation showed the company employed staff in sales roles in London, even though he had told the committee in November its British staff were not "selling" to UK clients.

Nick Farrell

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