Plaid Cymru joins calls for government to block tax-dodging companies from coronavirus bailout support

Chancellor Rishi Sunak speaking at a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Coronavirus (COVID

Chancellor Rishi Sunak speaking at a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Credit: PA

Plaid Cymru has joined calls for the government to block companies with offshore tax havens from accessing coronavirus bailout funds.

Westminster Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak saying vital services like the NHS could miss out on essential funds if the government bailed out tax-dodging companies.

It follows EU countres including Poland, France and Denmark proposing similar rules for its bailout funds.

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The member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr wrote: 'With this in mind, I am sure you would agree with me that it would be a travesty for taxpayer money, channelled through these support schemes, to go to companies who have deliberately sought to avoid paying their fair-share of tax.

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'Having effectively picked the pockets of our public services, these companies cannot be allowed to be bailed out by the taxpayer.'

It echoes calls from acting Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, and leading progressive economists.

Think tank Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) director Carys Roberts also supported the move, telling Left Foot Forward the government should impose restriction immediately.

She said: 'So if it becomes necessary to extend any of these schemes further into the summer, or to provide other forms of corporate bailouts, the government should consider placing conditions on the companies involved.

'Their record in paying their fair share of taxes should be part of this.'

She suggested this is the time to close tax loop holes in the UK and challenge companies on the way they remunerate their executives and pay dividends.

Also supporting the proposal is Daniel Kawczynski - a Tory Brexiteer MP - who raised eyebrows after calling for the UK to be more like the European countries.-

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