8 things Google’s unpaid tax could have been spent on

£1.5bn would go a long way

The Tax Justice Network has revealed today that Google has avoided paying £1.5bn in corporation tax.

What could the government have done with this money?

Employed 60,000 nurses for a year

This is the comparison the Mirror and the Sun went with. £1.5bn divided by 60,000 is £25,000.

Carried out 300,000 hip operations

A hip operation costs £5,000 to £6,000.

Bought 1,675 MRI scanners

They cost about £895,000 each.

Resettled 17,600 Syrian refugees

The government allocated £1.7bn recently to re-housing 20,000 Syrian refugees – providing them with accomodation for four years. For context, there’s about 5,000,000 Syrian refugees – the vast majority of them living in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

Doubled all government departments’ spending on Brexit preparations

The Treasury has allocated £1.5bn to departments for Brexit preparations.

Run the entire English NHS for over four days

Total government health spending in England was estimated to be £125bn in 2019. £1.5bn is 1.8% of this. 1.8% of a year is just over four days.

Easily covered everyone in England’s diabetes prescriptions for a year

The value of diabetes prescriptions is around £1bn a year.

Given every full-time carer more than £1,000 each

There are 1.3m in the UK who claim ‘carers allowance’ – which is for those spending more than 35 hours a week caring for someone who themselves claims certain benefits. ‘Carers allowance’ is a measly £66.15 a week. So a one-off £1,000 bonus would be nice.

Joe Lo is a freelance journalist and a reporter for Left Foot Forward.

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5 Responses to “8 things Google’s unpaid tax could have been spent on”

  1. nshgp

    The government is spending 220 bn a year its debts.
    You can’t have the money.

    But its a socialist debt pile, its off the books, so you can’t talk about it.

  2. Patrick Newman

    It is easy and right to hit on Google but let’s not forget that Corporation tax has been reduced from 28% (2010) to 18% now (and plans for a cut to 17% next year) by three Tory governments. Revenue is around £40bn so restoring rates would produce, (ceteris paribus), far more than what Google should be paying!

  3. Jill Brian

    Funded schools, funded the NHS, funded local Councils, funded nurseries, funded carers, funded actions to help reduce climate change……………

  4. Patrick Newman

    Just to recover the worst cuts to public spending the Chancellor would have to allocate an additional £20bn per annum and that’s not including for the ‘extra’ £20.5 bn the government claim it is giving the NHS over the next five years. So far there are no signs that the 9-year long squeeze on the NHS has eased.

  5. James Povey

    The loophole used by Google must be closed immediately.

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