Today, The Guardian, UK newspaper devotes its front page to the spider's-web of companies, LLP's, Trusts, Charities and other weird "vehicles" that reduce Amazon's £4.2 billion annual UK sales to fairy dust that is borne away on the winds and wings of fancy - until there is nothing left for the struggling UK government to levy tax upon. Despite employing more than 4,000 staff, topped up with 10,000 temps at Christmas, owning large warehouses part paid for by UK grants and tax-breaks, and despite being blessed by the aforementioned £4,200,000,000 ($6 B) donated from British customers - Amazon claims that its UK trade actually takes place in Luxembourg, via tax-haven companies.
AND today, BBC Radio World at One News spent 15 minutes hearing the arguments between Google (my generous Blog hosts) and Lady Margaret Hodge, Margaret Eve Hodge MBE MP (née Oppenheimer) Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who, being a weak and feeble woman, is singularly failing to understand how the $6 billion dollars of Google annual sales to UK businesses, mostly advertising revenues, are orchestrated by a large workforce in England but credited to a tiny workforce in Ireland - via a tax-haven company. But then she is only a woman - and here we are analyzing big-logical-man-business. A Google senior executive (male) became very muddled (understandably ...as it was lunchtime) when defending the irrefutable fact that while all the work is done in England, the actual Sales Contract is sent from an Irish computer - by a lively Leprechaun who controls all of Europe and sits astride a pot of gold. The BBC managed to field a senior (male) partner from Baker Tilly the world's 8th largest accountants and tax-planners, to indubitably explain in words of one syllable how the magical evaporation of UK money and its equally magical reappearance in Dublin, accords with British Tax Law, dating from time immemorial; and probably a long, long time before that. It is, of course, ( he and his like maintain and sincerely hope, clutching their Get Out of Jail Free cards) all perfectly legal. So, once again, no tax for the poor, dopey old UK government.
The net result is that every year $12 billion, less the UK wages bill, is siphoned out of the UK High Street and business community - which vanishes forever into the beautiful faraway land of Free Markets, which flows with Rivers of Cash - while helpless, hapless, lazy and scurrilous nations of 62 million shirkers - like the UK - build up Mountains of Debt. Thank God, we say, Thank God that the Free Markets are there, or here, or here and there, to lend us enough to feed ourselves, buy electricity and continue to make purchases from Amazon and log onto Google.
And, of course, logically, what law applies to Google and Amazon applies to all businesses trading in the UK. Why should the UK government collect any tax at all, at all, at all.