London: Google's boss in the UK has defended his firm after British lawmakers attacked foreign companies for trying to cheat the system with their tax practices.
As Matt Brittin fought back against suggestions that multinationals are ‘immoral’, he said it was down to politicians to legislate if they wanted to force change.
Brittin said that while he did not mind the ‘belligerent’ grilling he had received from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) two weeks ago, the public debate was creating the view that all "businesses are trying to do negative things and get away with them,” the Telegraph reports.
“It''s the wrong bias to think everyone is out to cheat,” he told Channel 4 News.
“I find it frustrating when we're criticised because I'm not immoral and neither is Google. If Google were immoral, I would not be working here….I'm proud of the way we operate,” he added.
Brittin, who rowed for Britain in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was lambasted by the PAC for low tax contributions along with the bosses of Starbucks and Amazon.
According to the paper, Google paid six million pounds corporation tax on 2.5 billion pounds of UK revenues in 2011.
Brittin argued that MPs were blaming companies for a system that they had designed, the paper said.
"Google plays by the rules set by politicians. The only people who really have choices are politicians who set the tax rates,” the paper quoted him, as saying.
Insisting that Google pays its tax in America, Brittin said he ‘would love it if Google had been invented in Cambridge...if Google had been created there and was a British business they would be having a very different conversation now.’
“We would be paying tax based on where our product was created – in that case, we'd be paying the majority of our tax here and operating in the US in a very different way,” he added.
First Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 12:48