On Monday night, the Government again showed their lack of leadership and commitment in tackling tax avoidance by large multinational firms, as they failed to back our amendment to the Finance Bill in support of a global minimum corporate tax rate.

Our amendment pushed them to finally back proposals by President Biden to force large multinationals who currently shift their profits to low-tax countries to pay their fair share in Britain.

This global pact would bring in billions of extra revenue into Britain, and stop businesses, including many on our high streets, from being undercut.

Yet Britain now stands alone in the G7 as the only country not to back this once in a generation opportunity to curb the power of tax havens – and put an end to big companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google shifting their profits offshore to avoid paying tax in the UK.

With Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan all showing support, our Government is holding back and refusing to show leadership, despite being set to host the G7 summit in Cornwall in June.

The debate on Monday came after we spent the last six weeks in Parliament pressing Government Ministers to back President Biden’s plans. The desire to see the Government act on this is widely held; in my remarks during the Finance Bill debate I referenced polling commissioned by the Co-operative Party showing the public agrees more must be done too.

This polling showed that three-quarters of people think that the UK should be playing a leading role in tackling global corporate tax avoidance, and two-thirds back President Biden’s plan.

But less than a third of the public trusts Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to properly tackle tax avoidance.
It is perhaps no surprise the public feel this way when the Government has turned down every opportunity to back President Biden’s plans and on Monday voted against our amendment.

I am proud that, alongside the Labour Party, the Co-operative Party and its members have challenged the Government to show leadership in securing this global deal.

We must all keep up the pressure ahead of the crucial G7 summit in June, so that our country seizes the opportunity, and finally gets to grips with this problem that has remained unresolved for so long.