The press and government hound tax avoidance as though it were illegal and immoral, but at what cost? Businesses do strive to make profits and try to retain them, but the public hounding is always one sided and never takes into accounts the business and jobs these companies bring, pulling in income and tax in lots of different and significant ways. Following, and article on how consumers may be shafted again by current energy reforms, as usual the householder suffers.

Focus on tax ignores Google's role in creating UK jobs, says chairman Eric Schmidt

Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has urged the country to consider the internet giant's "key" role in developing Britain's electronic commerce sector in the row over its corporation tax bill.

Focus on tax ignores Google's role in creating UK jobs, says chairman Eric Schmidt

Google chairman Eris Schmidt urged critics to consider the 'totality' of the Internet giant's contribution to the economy. Photo: AFP

He said the £6m the company paid in corporation tax in 2011 complied with the law and Google was acting no differently to other firms, including British multinationals.

Multinationals have been under pressure over the amount of tax they pay in Britain. MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have accused companies, including Google, Starbucks and Amazon, of "using the letter of tax laws" to "immorally minimise their tax obligations".

Mr Schmidt is to tell BBC Radio 4's World at One that the focus on its tax bill omitted "the fact that we also hire more than 2,000 employees and are investing heavily in Britain".

"We empower literally billions of pounds of start-ups through our advertising network and so forth. And we're a key part of the electronic commerce expansion of Britain which is driving a lot of economic growth for the country," he said.

He urged critics to consider the "totality" of the Internet giant's contribution to the economy.

read more at the Telegraph

Energy reforms could cost consumers £55m more

Consumers could pay an extra £55 million for energy bills under new Ofgem proposals, it was claimed today.

The energy tariff reforms could mean higher costs for more than 3.4 million households as they struggle to identify the cheapest energy tariffs, according to research by Which?.

Ofgem's proposed tariff comparison rate (TCR) aims to simplify energy tariffs and allow consumers to compare tariffs across the market.

Consumers will be advised on their best deal based on medium usage of gas and electricity, but research found only 26% of consumers use this level of energy.

The remaining 74% will be directed to tariffs which could be unsuitable for their usage and would cost them more, it was claimed.

Around 500,000 low energy users, who tend to be on the lowest incomes, could be advised on the wrong tariffs.

Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?, said: "Rising energy bills remain one of consumers' top financial concerns yet six in 10 of us have never switched supplier as people are left baffled by the vast array of complicated tariffs.

"These current proposals are far too complicated and will fail to achieve their aim of making it easier for people to find the best deal, with three-quarters of people being asked to compare prices that are not based on their energy usage."

Read more at the Standard

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