Unsurprisingly, leaders of some big businesses have said this week that they back the Conservatives. With Labour and the Liberal Democrats desperately trying to find a business leader that supports them, one has to ask whether being supported by Chief Executives of multinational corporations is really such a desirable thing.
One of the few things that Ed Miliband has been praised for is when he has criticised certain big multinational businesses for not paying their taxes or not paying their staff a decent wage. However, as with many things, Ed appears to be backing down in the face of criticism from such businesses.
Criticising certain business practices, whether they be tax avoidance, paying well below the living wage, using zero hour contracts, etc., does not mean that you are anti-business. In fact, such criticism is in support of the many, mainly small and medium-sized, businesses who do not engage in such poor behaviour. How can you compete with a company like Amazon, that doesn’t pay the tax it should?
That companies such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers can engage in “tax avoidance on an industrial scale”, according to the Public Accounts Committee, perhaps shows why big business does support the Conservatives. Namely, they let them get away with such things.
Also, don’t forget that many of these companies are eagerly picking up private contracts as the Conservative government try to outsource and privatise what they can.
I’m proud to be a part of the Green Party that would actually crack down on such dodgy activities, rather than just talk about doing it. This is probably why the Green Party is quite happy not to be supported by big business. What is good for big multinational corporations, such as TTIP, is invariably not good for small business and individuals. Hopefully more people are beginning to realise this and are coming to see big business support as a bad thing.
Update: HSBC helping clients to hide their money from taxation.
At its height, HSBC’s secretive Swiss arm hid a total of $120bn (£78bn) in assets. These funds were collected from wealthy clients all over the world and have already led to criminal investigations and charges against the bank in France, Belgium, the US and Argentina. But in Britain, no legal action has been taken against HSBC and the evidence against it has never been made public until now.