Rich LondonIt is an easy jibe: the poor live on the taxes paid by the rich. Since they are poor they pay next to no tax.

And it is quite wrong. The rich escape tax and multinationals do much the same. Here is some evidence.


In the USA the trend of the rich escaping taxes is most advanced.

The New York Times has just produced this excellent analysis. As they point out:

Two decades ago, when Bill Clinton was elected president, the 400 highest-earning taxpayers in America paid nearly 27 percent of their income in federal taxes, according to I.R.S. data. By 2012, when President Obama was re-elected, that figure had fallen to less than 17 percent.

So what about multinational companies?

The evidence is overwhealming.

The company that took over Cadburys has paid no UK tax since buying the company in 2010.

J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank AG, Nomura Holding and Morgan Stanley make billions in profit in Britain – but paid not a penny of corporation tax in 2014.

Netflix also paid no corporation tax despite having 4.5 million customers in the UK.

And then there are Starbucks, Amazon, Google and the rest.

Parliament acts

Now – at last – parliament is getting to grips with the problem. An all party group of MPs and Lords, led by Margaret Hodge and David Davis are to review why these inequalities exist, and what needs to be done.

I wish them well!