Rishi Sunak, don’t be a bozo and tax us — tax billionaire Amazon boss Jeff Bezos instead
IT is a statistic guaranteed to make anyone drop their latest one-click, next-day-delivery purchase from Amazon.
Marks & Spencer — that venerable old British company which is currently fighting for its life — paid £65.4million in corporation tax last year.
While high-flying Amazon has paid only £61.7million corporation tax in the UK OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS.
Folks — Amazon boss Jeff Bezos (net worth more than £145billion) is just not getting his round in.
So when Rishi Sunak attempts to balance the books with his autumn Budget, the Chancellor should take a long, hard look at Amazon — and ponder why it is paying loose change in a country where it is raking in billions.
Don’t soak the working man and woman, Rishi.
Don’t tax the grafters who are doing their best to support their families and the country.
Make Amazon finally pay its fair share of tax.
Amazon is one of the great success stories of this century.
TIRED OLD LINE
The company, which employs 27,000 at 17 British warehouses, has become part of the fabric of our lives.
But there has been a murderously high price to pay for Amazon’s success.
It has been paid by everyone from your local corner shop to some of the biggest brands in British retail — including Marks & Spencer, who in these hard times are cutting 7,000 jobs over the next three months.
So it’s nowhere near good enough for an Amazon spokesman to blithely bleat the same tired old line that the company “pays all taxes required in the UK”.
Amazon is making fortunes out of this country. And Mr Bezos is putting very little back.
You do not have to be a raving left-wing headbanger to see that the likes of Amazon — plus Google, Apple and Facebook — are the colonialists of the 21st century.
They are building their mighty empires across the globe, sucking whatever they can from countries that mean nothing to them, and giving back as little as they can to the natives.
And the UK does not have to take it.
We are told that high streets and shopping centres are finally starting to bounce back.
But visitors are still only at 60 per cent of the level they were last summer and many businesses, large and small, will not survive that stark decline in trade.
The bitter truth is that our beloved British high street will always struggle in a world that contains a slick digital superstore like Amazon.
On the day that the writer and broadcaster Clive James died, I walked into my local Waterstones with the desire to buy everything that Clive ever wrote.
But Waterstones didn’t have any books by Clive James — not one — so I went home and ordered a dozen from Amazon. They arrived the next day.
HIT 'EM HARD
Repeat that experience a few billion times, and you have the secret of Amazon’s success.
Amazon is here to stay. So it must start paying its fair share of tax.
Many of us have grown to love shopping on Amazon.
But unless the company starts contributing more to a country where it is practically printing money, it will not be loved for long.
Amazon will be loathed. So hit ’em hard, Rishi!
Taxing Amazon is not simply the right thing to do.
It would also go some way to making the Tories popular again.
IF you are one of the UK’s nine million dog owners, you will have clocked that we are in the middle of a puppy boom.
Some worry that pups bought during the pandemic will be abandoned when their new owners forget that a dog is for life, not just for lockdown.
Maybe. But every day I meet at least one proud new owner of a pandemic pup.
And they all seem totally smitten to me.
Di Hard act to follow
NO actress ever came anywhere close to capturing Princess Diana on screen.
Diana was only 36 when she died, three years younger than Meghan Markle is today, and yet The Crown have hired two actresses to play her in the forthcoming series – Emma Corrin as the young Shy Di, and the fabulous Elizabeth Debicki for the older Diana.
Perhaps Debicki and Corrin will succeed where so many others, including a great actress like Naomi Watts, have failed.
But unlike Emma Corrin, the young Diana was still round-faced with puppy-fat.
And, unlike Elizabeth Debicki, the mature Diana did not have a conventional movie-star beauty.
Diana was unique, an historic one-off, unlike any icon seen before or since.
Like Elvis, Diana is impossible to imitate because the real deal is burned so deeply into our collective consciousness.
Every Elvis impersonator who ever curled his lip had something slightly ludicrous – and laughably fake – about him.
It is the same for actresses who try to replicate Diana’s charismatic, vulnerable aura.
They can impersonate Diana. But they will never capture her.
They've bin real heroes
THE Great British bin men and women have been unsung heroes of this national health emergency.
In my corner of North London they have not missed one collection, not even at the height of the pandemic, not even when the death toll was horrific, not even when there was real fear everywhere.
We rightly applauded our NHS frontline workers.
But not enough love has been given to those who empty our bins.
The Local Government Association reports that last year 156 bin men and women were assaulted – bitten, punched, abused, stabbed and even shot at.
But if only the rest of this country were more like them.
According to new data from the Office for National Statistics, we are now five times more likely to die of flu or pneumonia than coronavirus.
TUCK SHOP TROTSKYISTS
Yet the vast majority of the Government’s 430,000 Whitehall staff are STILL working from home – despite Boris begging them to return to their offices – while the tuck shop Trotskyists of the teaching unions are STILL using coronavirus as an excuse to keep the schools closed.
But with their sense of duty, their social responsibility and their quiet courage, our bin men and women have set an example for us all.
From a grateful nation – thank you.
And what a state we would have been in without you.
Policy of stupidity
NO child should ever fail an exam they have not been allowed to sit.
That is the lesson of the Government’s monumental cock-up over A-levels and GCSEs.
Cancelling exams was a policy based on timidity, cowardice and stupidity.
Now we are warned that grade inflation could mean young people finding themselves in jobs that they are not capable of doing.
You mean like Education Secretary Gavin Williamson?
Shop 'n' rollers
THE Rolling Stones open their first official shop on September at 9 Carnaby Street, in London’s Soho.
A Stones spokesman promises: “More than just a store, RS Number 9 will be a fully immersive experience for fans of all ages.”
Expect brisk business.
On the last Stones tour, I was stunned to see fans queue for ages to buy official merchandise.
Mick and Keith, eh? First, they save rock ’n’ roll.
Now they save the high street.
Pete was on money
SUN reader Paul Wood, of Co Durham, points out that Madonna, most recently seen gamely cavorting at her 62nd birthday in Jamaica, increasingly resembles 80s pop star Pete Burns.
Now Paul mentions it, the resemblance is striking.
The same waxy pallor, the same trout pout, the same bolshy thousand-yard stare.
But Madonna is reported to be worth between £435million and £611million, while the flamboyant Dead Or Alive frontman was declared bankrupt two years before his death in 2016.
And Madonna never made anything as good as Pete’s You Spin Me Round (Like A Record).
That’s where the similarity ends.
Her money. His music.
Give Lissie our help
TWO of the thieving simpletons responsible for the death of PC Andrew Harper have launched an appeal against their convictions.
Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, both 18, are challenging their manslaughter convictions and 13-year jail sentences.
Not everyone believes that Cole and Bowers have been treated too harshly.
Their sentences have also been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General, who considers them “unduly lenient”.
Meanwhile Lissie Harper, 29, widowed four weeks after her wedding to her childhood sweetheart, can never appeal her life sentence of loss.
But Lissie is campaigning for “Harper’s Law” – meaning life for anyone convicted of killing a 999 worker.
- Support Lissie’s petition at change.org/HarpersLaw
Make him listen
HASHEM ABEDI, who helped his brother Salman build the bomb that devastated Manchester Arena, has been sentenced to 55 years for murder.
Before sentencing, Abedi “refused” to leave his cell to hear the testimony of survivors and the bereaved at the Old Bailey.
The judge said he could not make him listen. Why the hell not?
Some burly coppers should have dragged the murdering coward from his cell to listen to all those heartbreaking stories of grief, pain and loss.
Refusing to listen should not have been his option.
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