Over the past six months, tax has rarely left the public agenda. For example the settlement reached by HMRC and Google was was heavily featured on news headlines and in the emails in my inbox. As a member of the Public Accounts Committee, co-Chair of the Anti-Corruption All Party Parliamentary Group and as a former tax adviser, I am absolutely convinced that greater transparency is the best way that we can ensure companies pay their taxes fairly, fight corruption, and restore public confidence in a struggling system. Which is why I supported Caroline Flint MP’s amendment to the Finance Bill on Tuesday 28th June, in an attempt to introduce public country-by-country reporting. This would have required the biggest multinationals to publish headline information about their profits and taxes in each country that they work in.
Unfortunately the amendment was narrowly defeated by 22 votes, however as co-Chair of the APPG on Corruption and a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I will continue to fight for greater tax transparency. I know this issue is rightly of great concern to my constituents and I am committed to seeing the Government introduce further measures to increase tax transparency of multi-nationals. I am reassured that the Minister pledged to look at this issue again and I hope to meet with him again in the coming weeks to discuss how this will be done.
You can find out more about the amendment and my contributions to the debate here.