Thursday, 28 February 2008

Tesco's off-shore assets

As a result of reports that Tesco is avoiding paying Corporation Tax, by keeping many of its assets ‘off-shore’, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable issued this press release:

“This exposé shows the depth of the tax avoidance culture amongst Britain’s leading companies, as well as the very rich.

“Given the widespread practice of these tactics by non-domiciles, there is now a real challenge for Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. They must crack down seriously on it, as the tax burden is now falling disproportionately on low and middle income taxpayers, rather than the very rich.

“Tesco’s behaviour makes a complete nonsense of any claims that it makes about corporate social responsibility. It is very clear that this is money taken from the company’s British customers to satisfy shareholders.

“The Government must also answer why British dependent territories are being allowed to offer large-scale tax avoidance schemes at the expense of the Treasury."

I understand that Grand Cayman is a major depot for these assets. Given that this Caribbean island is low-lying, what is Tesco going to do after the ice-caps melt?

Vince goes on:
“If Germany can crack down on Liechtenstein, why can’t Britain do the same with territories for which it is directly responsible?”


Anonymous said...

Could always get the US to invade, like they did in Granada.

Frank H Little said...

It was Grenada, actually, but the point is taken ...