Google executives were once told by a Labour MP investigating its tax affairs: “You are a company that says you ‘do no evil’. And I think that you do do evil.” The revelation that the Church of England holds a significant stake in Alphabet, Google’s parent company, suggests, at the very least, that there is more than one way to interpret evil, at least when it comes to portfolio management.
Having a stake in Google is evil apparently.
Christian Aid, the development charity, has led calls for so-called country-by-country reporting. This would require multinationals to publish results by nation, which would expose exactly where, and where not, a company such as Google was paying tax. The church should throw its considerable financial, public and ethical clout behind Christian Aid in making this happen. However, try as I might, I cannot find a word from them on the issue. It would seem as if their 2013 statement on tax ethics had never been published.
That’s very cute indeed. Very cute. This important charity calls for it. Not the more usual I, Richard Murphy, ME!, invented country by country reporting and I’m whining because not everyone is doing it already.
Still, that’s £300 to the Sage of Ely. Look forward to it showing up in the accounts of Tax Research LLP.