It may be the sheer ubiquity of the US chain that had people spluttering into their morning lattes. Whatever the reason, the revelation that the coffee shops have paid nothing whatsoever into the UK Exchequer for three years achieved the unlikely feat of turning corporation tax into a national obsession.
‘Starbucks is a game changer,’ says tax expert Richard Murphy. ‘And we should be very glad of it. This is an important issue.’
It’s as if the Mail and the country’s leading tax expert have not heard of business rates, isn’t it?
You know, that rather close approximation to a Land Value Tax, the least distorting of all taxes, that this country levies at a higher portion of tax revenue than any other OECD country.
From memory we get 11% of tax revenue from property taxes (of which business rates are 40-50% or so) as opposed to the OECD average of something like 4%.
Declaring that those occupying retail frontage contribute nothing whatsoever to the UK Exchequer is simply an outright lie.