Fury as Scottish government gives Amazon £ 4.7million in public money as company pays no corporate tax
The Scottish government handed Amazon £ 4.7million last year as the company paid no corporate tax on £ 38 billion in European sales.
The internet giant’s web services division received public money and also recently signed a 10-year deal with the NHS worth £ 15million.
But the accounts of the Luxembourg unit of Amazon – the company through which it sells products to millions of Scottish and European households – claim a paper loss of £ 1 billion and therefore no tax has been paid. Last year.
Documents released via Freedom of Information show that in 2020-2021 the Scottish government paid £ 4.7million for the company’s web services, £ 45,272 the year before and £ 2.5million in 2018-2019.
The total of £ 7.2million related only to ‘main’ Scottish government departments and did not include other agencies.
The NHS deal, meanwhile, is to provide web hosting for a computer system capable of deploying “real-time point-of-care data” to patients north of the border.
Labor MP Paul Sweeney said: “Amazon is the classic example of a global giant in a monopoly position that allows it to eliminate its competitors and use its power to reduce wages and conditions while paying the least amount of money. ‘taxes possible.
“The company had the opportunity to make billions during the pandemic as traditional stores were forced to close and yet it still pays nothing like its fair share of taxes.
“The Scottish government urgently needs to ask itself if it is doing all it can to tackle global tax evasion. But the truth is that the model of an independent Scotland appears to be one where we would allow this to happen. type of behavior in the same way Ireland has acted as a tax haven in order to attract foreign investment. “
The latest documents filed by Amazon in Luxembourg revealed that the company raised a record turnover of £ 38 billion in Europe last year, but did not have to pay corporate tax . Amazon EU Sarl accounts show that, despite record revenues, the Luxembourg unit suffered a loss of £ 1 billion and therefore paid no taxes.
In fact, the unit received £ 48million in tax credits to offset any future tax bills in the event of a profit. The Luxembourg-based company manages sales for the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. It employs 5,262 people.
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Paul Monaghan, Managing Director of the Fair Tax Foundation, said: “These numbers are mind-boggling, even for Amazon. We are seeing exponentially accelerating market dominance across the globe with income that remains largely untaxed. “
An Amazon spokesperson insisted that while no corporate tax had been paid in Luxembourg, tax had been paid in other regions. He added: “Since 2010 we have invested over £ 23 billion in the UK. Earlier this month, we announced plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the country by the end of 2021, which would bring our workforce to over 55,000. This continued investment contributed to a total tax contribution of £ 1.1 billion in 2019. ”
The Scottish Government has said: ‘We believe that all businesses should pay their fair share of taxes. However, corporation tax is reserved for the UK government.
“Public procurement spending is a key driver of economic activity in Scotland and in 2019-2020 we spent over £ 120million directly with SMEs, with an additional £ 30million shared between sub- Scottish traders. “