The Great Corporation Tax Swindle

According to a report from the public accounts select committee, more than 25% of Britain's 700 largest businesses paid no corporation tax in 2005-6.

It found that 181 of the UK's largest firms paid no corporation tax at all in 2005-6, although 50 companies accounted for two-thirds of the £24 billion collected in 2006-7.

This suggests that at least £8.5 billion of legitimate tax was lost to the Treasury, which is equivalent to around 2p on income tax.

Alternatively, if this lost tax was collected, the Government could cut corporation tax substantially for small firms at a time when, during the last two years, it has risen by 2p in the pound.

This situation is completely unacceptable and demonstrates that large firms have been treated lightly over the last decade.

We need a fairer and more transparent system of business taxation in the UK and I hope that the next Conservative Government will consider a complete revision of corporate tax to ensure that every company, large or small, pays its fair share.

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