We deserve better

9:48am Wednesday 12th December 2012

By Reader's letter

GODFREY BLOOM and his party, UKIP, have made a pitch for those who feel the country was better run in the 1950s.

Yet there is nothing ‘‘traditional’’ in the argument he is making about the responsibilities of multi-national companies (Letters, December 6).

In excusing the tax-avoiding behaviour of companies such as Amazon and Starbucks as no more than their ‘‘duty’’, he is expressing an extreme view of how capitalism should operate.

Also, he is denigrating all those British companies, large and small, that do pay their taxes. The sums lost to us by large-scale tax avoidance are huge, dwarfing benefit fraud.

Multi-nationals are able to come here and to make the sort of profits that they do by making use of British infrastructure and British workers, whose skills, education and free health care all come courtesy of the taxpayers.

Yet we have the unedifying spectacle of companies such as Starbucks announcing big profits to shareholders apparently while claiming to the Inland Revenue that they are making a loss.

This is not the way to nurture successful, profitable businesses.

In Germany, businesses are expected to demonstrate responsibility to the community. Larger companies are legally obliged to include employees on their boards.

We deserve better than we seem to have got used to in the UK.

Chris Walker-Lyne, Millfield Road, York.

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