Why are we doing this?
The financial cost of tackling the coronavirus crisis in the UK alone will be enormous – somewhere in the region of £300 billion or more. At the same time, profit-shifting to tax havens is costing the UK something like £7 billion per annum in lost corporation taxes. This is the equivalent of a year's pay for around 180,000 nurses.
Some of the most high-profile avoiders of corporation tax are Silicon Valley mega-corporations such as Facebook and Google. The same companies are also turning out to be some of the biggest winners from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We think that most people will find it particularly jarring that some of the companies who have most egregiously failed to pay their way while cuts have depleted NHS capacity, are now raking it in while society buckles under the worst public health crisis for a generation.
It therefore makes sense to start talking about how they might make a fairer contribution to the public services on which they, just like the rest of us, rely.