I raised Google tax issue, says PM

Google TaxDavid Cameron insists he had raised the question of Google's UK tax arrangements with the company's boss at talks in Downing Street earlier this week.

Labour leader Ed Miliband, addressing Google's own "Big Tent" event near Watford on Wednesday morning, suggested the matter had not been brought up with Google chief executive Eric Schmidt at a gathering of a business advisory panel at Number 10.
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Referring to Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband said: "He's not putting concrete proposals forward on transparency, on transfer pricing, on tax havens, on tax avoidance rules. I think he did the wrong thing when he didn't talk to Eric Schmidt about this on Monday."

But, at a press event on Wednesday afternoon to herald a "breakthrough" in EU efforts to crack down on "aggressive" tax avoidance ahead of a G8 meeting on the subject, the Prime Minister said: "I raised the issue very directly as he (Mr Schmidt) is on my business advisory panel, and we discussed the G8 agenda, the tax multinationals are paying and I made sure there were proper contributions from people around the table, including him, on that issue.

"Aside from talking about it, what is much more important is taking action. What putting this at the front of the G8 agenda has achieved is a proper agreement, here in the EU to start with, that all countries should exchange tax information, that all countries should act on beneficial ownership, so we know who owns what.

"I think this is a big step forward."

Answering another question on the Google situation, Mr Cameron explained: "We had a meeting of my business advisory council, three of four items on the agenda. One of the items was my G8 agenda which includes transparency on tax, international action over tax.

"I explained my G8 agenda, how important I think it is, I explained I think it is important to tackle not just tax evasion but aggressive tax avoidance.

"I asked Eric Schmidt to comment on that and he did in the meeting.

"I don't think we're going to solve this if we simply take one company or another company that is registered in Europe, this one in Ireland. We are going to solve this, we are going to have proper concrete action."

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Where are Britain's highest tax bills?
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I raised Google tax issue, says PM
St Albans come in second on the list with a total income tax bill of £10,900 per person.
Windsor and Maidenhead came third with a total income tax bill of £10,200 per person.
The Surrey town of Guildford was fourth on the list with a total income tax bill of £9,830 per person.
England's capital city came fifth with a total income tax bill of £8,580 per person.
Wokingham has a total income tax bill of £7,490 per person. Putting it in sixth place.
Dacorum in Hertfordshire comes in joint sixth place with a total income tax bill of £7,490 per person.
The leafy towns of Reigate and Banstead have a total income tax bill of £7,000 per person.
Tonbridge and Malling take joint seventh spot with a total income tax bill of £7,000 per person.
Wycombe comes last in the top ten with a total income tax bill of £6,820 per person.

A small corner of leafy Surrey has taken the top spot in the league table of the highest income tax bills per person. Residents of Elmbridge pay an astonishing £1.18 billion in income tax every year. That puts a number of the major cities in the shade.
The leafy towns of Esher, Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames are filled with mansions, private estates, country clubs, golf courses, and riversides packed with millionaires. The proximity of Chelsea's training ground in Cobham has also brought well-paid sportsmen to the area.

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