On Tuesday 15th March, I sponsored Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP’s Ten Minute Rule Bill on Multinational Enterprises (Financial Transparency). I have long supported increased transparency in multinational’s tax affairs and I appreciate my constituents’ concern with multinational company tax avoidance. I believe this Bill would increase confidence in the tax system and address public anger regarding multinational companies’ failure to pay enough tax.
Currently, to address this, the Government is legislating to require large multinational companies to report their tax, revenues, profits and assets to HMRC – on a confidential basis – as part of an international effort to tackle tax avoidance. However, this Multinational Enterprises (Financial Transparency) Bill would ensure this information becomes public.
This Bill would force companies to put this information into the public domain, which would ensure that the public can see what companies are paying and avoid future scenarios where multinational companies, via complicated international arrangements effectively choose the tax they want to pay, rather than paying the tax they should pay. I believe this Bill would restore public faith in the tax system and ensure that multinational companies pay their fair share.
I am hopeful that the Government will support the Bill or include its principal purpose in this year’s Finance Bill, which will be introduced following the Chancellor’s Budget.