But according to Ms Patel, Stemcor has also been engaging in a series of controversial tax avoidance measures in the UK, including “transfer pricing”.
“Given the very serious accusation you made of Starbucks,” writes Ms Patel “that they were ‘exporting profits to minimise tax’,” it raises serious concerns that “a seemingly similar approach [has been] taken by Stemcor.”
Stemcor, where Mrs Hodge declares a “registrable shareholding” was founded by Mrs Hodge’s father Hans Oppenheimer. It employs 2,000 people in 45 countries with a turnover of more than £6.3bn. In the UK, where Stemcor is based, the company generated £2.1bn of sales with £65.2m of profit in the year ending December 2011.
It paid just £157,000 in tax to the Exchequer last year, equating to just 0.01pc of the revenues it booked. Stemcor’s UK tax contribution makes up only 2.7pc of the tax it pays globally, despite generating about one-third of its revenues in Britain.
In the letter to Mrs Hodge, Ms Patel writes: “As Chair of the PAC, you have to be able to hold people to account for their decisions and judgement. My primary concern is that without answers to these questions, you would not be able to carry out your role. There is legitimate concern that your leadership might detract from the objectivity of the inquiry [into Starbucks, Amazon and Google] and could undermine both the authority and integrity of the Committee.”
And she doesn’t do herself any favours with the response either:
On Monday, Mrs Hodge said: “I have never played any role in the running of the company, or in any financial decisions. As a responsible shareholder, I have regularly sought, and received, assurances that Stemcor pays its fair share of taxes in the UK.”
I just cash the dividend cheques…..
And this of course is clear evidence of tax avoidance:
She added her direct holding was 1.26pc while shares are held in trust for her family, children and grandchildren.
That’s making sure that the wealth cascades down through the generations without the tiresome necessity of having top pay inheritance tax.
And doesn’t Ritchie fulminate against those who do such things?
But there we are. Direct evidence of tax avoidance by a Labour MP. Let’s see who picks up on it shall we? Who makes the usual furore. UK Uncut perhaps?