Public Accounts Committee chairman Margaret Hodge has called on the government to “listen and take action” on a petition signed by more than 110,000 people to protest about Amazon’s corporation tax payments in the UK.
Frances and Keith Smith from Warwick and Kenilworth Bookshops will hand the petition in to 10 Downing Street next Wednesday (24th April), accompanied by authors such as historian Stephanie Williams and geographer Danny Dorling, MP Chris White, and Hodge, who blasted Amazon for its “immoral” tax practices in a House of Commons enquiry last November.
Hodge told The Bookseller she was “fully behind” the Smiths’ campaign. “I hope the prime minister and the chancellor will listen to the 110,000 people who have signed the petition so far and take action to prevent Amazon and others from dodging the tax that they owe,” she said. “Amazon shifts its profits out of this country to Luxembourg, and as a result pay little to no tax, despite their annual UK sales being in the billions. This campaign highlights the damage that corporation tax avoidance is having on small British businesses. It allows multinationals to obtain unfair advantage over small local businesses that work hard and pay the tax that they owe.”
National media are expected to record the occasion, which will be followed by a Commons debate. Frances Smith said: “The most important thing is deciding on where we go from here. It is all very well handing in a petition but I want to make sure it goes somewhere, and when it is discussed in parliament that the discussion will be realistic. The short-term aim is to get some publicity and make sure people know how angry people are about it, but the longer-term aim is to bring about real change.”