Jeremy Corbyn has called out Jeff Bezos’ recent philanthropic donation of nearly $100 million telling him to “just pay your taxes”.
Amazon’s founder and chief executive Bezos, also the richest man in the world with a net worth of roughly $110 billion (£78.5 billion), was praised for donating $98.5 million to a range of homeless charities via his philanthropic fund ‘Bezos One Day Fund’.
The Labour Party Leader Corbyn, currently on the campaign trail ahead of the December 12 general election, criticised Bezos on Twitter highlighting that this was just “0.09 per cent of your net worth”, adding “just pay your taxes”.
That’s 0.09% of your net worth.
Just pay your taxes. https://t.co/KEke1NUE8E
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 24, 2019
Amazon has been criticised across the political spectrum for taking advantage of various tax breaks to dramatically reduce the amount of tax it pays.
In the US in 2018 Amazon paid nothing in federal taxes despite reporting profits of more than $11 billion.
Amazon does not disclose what it pays in tax in the UK, but the GMB workers union estimates it should have paid £103 million in corporation tax last year, while Amazon’s biggest UK arm which discloses its accounts paid just £14 million.
An Amazon spokesperson said these “calculations are completely incorrect”.
Labour has pledged to increase corporation tax in the UK to 26 per cent in a bid to level the playing field between online players like Amazon and high street stores who are being battered by business rates bills, leading to more than 10,000 high street stores to shut this year.
My card to @Amazon on its 25th birthday.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) July 5, 2019
This is not the first time Corbyn has taken aim at Bezos, having written a birthday card to Bezos on Amazon’s 25th birthday 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.”