A Tory Brexiteer MP has called on the UK government to be more like EU countries in its approach to coronavirus relief schemes for businesses.
Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has called on Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak to replicate schemes in France, Denmark and Poland, which have all prevented companies based outside their country from taking advantage of their coronavirus bailout schemes.
Each of those countries has explicitly prevented those firms based in tax havens from benefiting.
Tweeting a link to a story on France becoming the latest country to announce such measures, Kawczynski wrote: ‘France joins Denmark and Poland in banning tax haven firms from coronavirus relief. When can we see the same message from you Rishi Sunak?’
His calls for the UK to be more like these EU countries received some support from fellow Brexiteers.
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‘C’mon Rishi Sunak let’s show these tax avoiding people/companies that Great Britain will not be foolish enough to be walked over by them,’ said one. ‘We are an independent nation who supports her own,’ before posting a series of union flags.
A spokesperson for the Treasury admitted its bailout scheme will involve foreign companies, but said it is designed to support British jobs.
They previously told Business Insider: ‘Obviously we’ve set up schemes at pace, and they are designed to support jobs in Britain.’
‘Sometimes that will involve foreign companies who employ people in the UK for example. But we are looking into the specific point on tax havens where as you know we have already taken considerable action.’
Robert Palmer, an executive director at Tax Justice UK, said that businesses using offshore tax havens should not expect support from government.
He said: ‘Companies that seek to dodge their obligations to broader society by cutting their tax bills shouldn’t expect to get bailed out when things go wrong.
‘The UK government should seriously look at copying Denmark’s approach. Any bailout needs to come with conditions to ensure good business behaviour.’