CBI tax team raises questions

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Amazon’s membership of CBI tax team raises questions about influence With its avidly pro EU stance, the CBI has long generated suspicions that it only represents the interests of multi nationals in their desire to see a steady stream of low cost labour (particularly from Eastern Europe) fuel their profits. Now the policy positions of the Confederation of British Industry are being influenced by big businesses that sit on its committees, the Times suggests. American tech giant Amazon is a member of the tax committee of the lobby group, which has criticised the UK’s new digital services tax, arguing that it was “high risk”. The paper points out that Unilever and Barclays, which are in dispute with HMRC over tax bills, are also on the committee. The Times cites a former chief executive of a FTSE 100 company who says Amazon’s membership “seems astonishing.” They add: “Whatever they’re thinking, it will reinforce society’s view that businesses have an agenda not to pay their way. That’s pretty stupid in these times.” Elsewhere in the paper further details of multinational influence on the CBI are detailed, leading John Longworth, former director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, to comment: “The [CBI] is rammed with foreign multinationals who are obviously not going to have the national interest at heart.”

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