I was asked today by a journalist why there might be problems with a zero rate corporation tax – which is an idea many on the right are now promoting. I replied that zero corporation tax creates many problems.
The first is that companies would then make no contribution at all to society despite the enormous privileges they enjoy, including limited liability, which literally means they can dump their losses on the rest of us.
Sigh. Tax Research LLP makes no corporate tax contributions to society at all. Yet I am sure that there are those out there who insist that Tax Research LLP contributes to society. The NHS pays no corporate tax of any kind: yet I’m absolutely certain that the value of the NHS does not depend upon that fact. Further, while I may not think that the NHS is quite the right way of doing this, I would argue that the provision of health care services to 65 million people is something of value.
The value that Google provides is that we get to Google, the value of Amazon is that we get cheap books, the value of Starbucks is bad coffee. It is the production of an organisation that is the contribution to society that an organisation provides. What they pay in tax is fuck all to do with it.