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Christian faith motivated whistleblower

A former Google employee turned whistleblower has told Premier he has no regrets about giving evidence to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee about Google's tax affairs.

Barney Jones said he felt compelled by his Christian faith to testify after reading what he believes was misleading evidence from a senior Google executive, who claimed that advertising sales take place in low-tax Ireland, not the UK.

Mr Jones, who was a member of the sales team for the company between 2002 and 2006, told Premier's Victoria Laurence during the News Hour that he had no qualms about speaking out:

The committee of MPs is now calling for HM Revenue and Customs to challenge Google saying the company uses highly contrived financial arrangements to avoid paying its fair share of tax. Its chair, Margaret Hodge, said the company's account of its operations makes "absolutely no sense". She said: "We thought that they create a very complex web of companies, the sole purpose of which is simply to aggressively avoid paying their fair share of tax in relation to the profits they make here."

Google insists that it does follow UK law and that it complies with all the tax rules.

The search engine is one of several multinational companies that have been strongly criticised in recent months for organising their tax affairs in ways that minimise the amounts they pay in the UK.

The Association of Christian Financial Advisers is calling for consumers to now shop according to conscience.

Arwyn Bailey from the organisation told Premier's Victoria Laurence during the News Hour there are no simple solutions but it is time for international tax reform: 

The report by the committee found that Google made around £11.5bn in revenue from the UK between 2006 and 2011, but paid just £10m in corporation tax.

A Google spokesman said:

"It's clear from this report that the Public Accounts Committee wants to see international companies paying more tax where their customers are located, but that's not how the rules operate today.

"We welcome the call to make the current system simpler and more transparent."

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