Google's Schmidt to meet Britain's Cameron as tax row rages

LONDON Fri May 17, 2013 7:58am EDT

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt gestures as he speaks at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt gestures as he speaks at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts April 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is due to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday as a participant of an advisory group just days after UK lawmakers lambasted the Internet company's tax affairs.

The meeting is a routine one and has been long-planned, will include other high-profile business people, and tax evasion is not on the agenda, a government source told Reuters.

Google faced angry questions on Thursday from British lawmakers investigating its tax affairs over whether it had misled parliament in testimony last year, adding fuel to a debate on taxation that has risen to the top of Britain's political agenda.

Google's Northern Europe boss, Matt Brittin, was called back to testify to parliament's Public Accounts Committee after a Reuters investigation showed the company employed staff in sales roles in London, even though he had told the committee in November its British staff were not "selling" to UK clients.

Prominent parliamentarians have questioned Schmidt's continued status as a member of Cameron's Business Advisory Group given what some of them have classed as his company's "amoral" attitude towards paying tax.

The group meets quarterly to give Cameron high level advice on critical business and economic matters facing Britain.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn and William James; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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Comments (1)
reality-again wrote:
This row and similar incidents involving big companies such as Google and Apple, illustrate the increasing conflict between ‘national’ organizations called ‘states’, and business organizations called ‘corporations’ that are so big and powerful that they actually have some political clout, through lobbying and PR.
The ‘state’ type of organizations see themselves as ‘clients’ of the big corporations, since the latter pay taxes and create jobs that serve as additional sources of revenues for the states.
But what happens when the client doesn’t pay?

May 17, 2013 10:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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