G8 must tackle tax avoidance, says Cameron

David Cameron has said tax-dodging by large companies is one of the issues Britain will seek to tackle during the UK's presidency of the G8 this year.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Prime Minister said large companies who aggressively avoided paying their fair share in tax were impacting on public services and resources.

His speech comes after criticism of Amazon, Starbucks and Google for paying little or no corporation tax in the UK.

Cameron took a tongue-in-cheek swipe at Starbucks when he said: “Companies need to wake up and smell the coffee, because the customers who buy from them have had enough." He added: “It's a world where some companies navigate their way around legitimate tax systems – and even low tax rates – with an army of clever accountants. We can be the generation that eradicates extreme poverty in our world, but we need to tackle the causes, not just the symptoms. We need to lay down the rules of the game, and we need to be prepared to enforce them. Proper companies, proper taxes, proper rules."

Transparency among governments in receipt of Britain's development assistance will be another topic for discussion at the G8 summit, to be held in Northern Ireland in June. 

Cameron also used today’s platform to call for Western governments to unite to defeat the threat of terrorism.