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The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has trolled the tax-avoiding online retailer, Amazon, on their 25 anniversary – sending them a sarcastic birthday card wishing them “many happy tax returns” and demanding that they start paying their “fair share” in tax and improve conditions for their workers.
Despite seeing their UK pre-tax profits triple to £72m in 2017 and their UK turnover jump 35% to almost £2Bn in the same period, Amazon managed to pay just £1.7m on their profits – an effective Corporation Tax rate of just 2.3%.
From April 2017, the overall UK Corporation Tax rate was set at 19% – however, Amazon’s accountants managed to use completely legal methods to avoid paying anywhere near the percentage set out in law.
And in the USA, Amazon’s tax-avoidance is even more extreme, with the firm somehow managing to pay absolutely no federal tax on staggeringly large profits on $11.2Bn in 2018.
Furthermore, Amazon have also been repeatedly accused of treating their workers “appallingly“, by forcing them to work in “inhuman conditions” and paying staff the absolute bare minimum throughout their retail empire.
In 2018, a Freedom of Information request made by the GMB union found that there had been a staggering 115 ambulance all-outs at Amazon’s site in site in Rugeley, near Birmingham – including 8 for people who had passed out, and others relating to major traumas, pregnancy-related issues and electric shocks.
In comparison, a similar sized Tesco warehouse in the area which employed almost the same amount of staff recorded just 8 ambulance call-outs in the same period.
Given Amazon’s deeply questionable practices, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took time out of his day to send a hugely appropriate message to Amazon and their founder, Jeff Bezos, on the 25th anniversary of the firm’s foundation, stating:
“Dear Jeff. Happy Birthday. You owe the British people millions in taxes that pay for the public services that we all rely on. This year, pay your fair share of taxes, give your hard-working staff a pay rise and respect workers’ rights.
Many Happy Tax Returns, Jeremy.”
My card to @Amazon on its 25th birthday.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 5, 2019
Unsurprisingly, Amazon are yet to respond to Mr Corbyn’s message.