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INTERNATIONAL tax cheat McDonald’s has spent the past three years overhauling its financial structures to hide its money from inspectors, a coalition of trade unions charged yesterday.
A new report published by European and US unions showed that McDonald’s, being investigated by the European Commission, moved its international tax base from Luxembourg to the UK a day after the Brexit referendum.
Britain and its overseas territories form the world’s biggest tax haven.
Meanwhile McDonald’s moved its European franchising operation from Luxembourg to Delaware, a notorious US tax haven, and brought in a whole host of intermediary companies across the world.
It has had the effect of drastically limiting the amount of information the corporate giant has to publish about its financial dealings.
The EPSU, EFFAT and SEIU unions which published the report said that McDonald’s Luxembourg operation paid an effective 1.7 per cent rate of tax on its profits from 2009 to 2015.
Bakers’ union general secretary Ian Hodson, who represents McDonald’s workers currently fighting for union recognition and decent pay, told the Star: “If McDonald’s properly paid its taxes, we’d be able to properly fund our public services.
“Maybe council services would have been properly funded. Maybe Sure Start centres wouldn’t be shutting down.
“Maybe, just maybe, all the people who lost their lives during the recent NHS crisis might not have lost their lives.
“If we don’t do something about the corporations and their tax avoidance scams, then we will all end up paying.”
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