Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards has written to the Chancellor calling for the UK Government not to give financial support to tax avoiding companies.

Various schemes and grants have been announced to support businesses through the Coronavirus crisis. However, due to a high take-up there are concerns that smaller businesses could lose out.

The Plaid Cymru MP outlines in the letter his calls for the UK Government to follow the example of Denmark, Poland and France in exempting tax avoiding corporations registered in offshore tax havens from UK Government financial support.

Mr Edwards writes in the letter that tax avoiding companies have “picked the pockets of our public services” who are on the frontline of the Covid crisis and should not now be bailed out by the taxpayer.

The letter is based on a motion tabled by the Plaid MP on the first day of the new part-digital House of Commons. The early day motion which has been signed by members from the SNP, Labour and DUP as of Wednesday (the last sitting day of Parliament).

Mr Edwards has also reiterated Plaid Cymru’s calls for an Emergency Universal Basic Income to support all workers during the Coronavirus crisis, regardless of who their employer is.

Jonathan Edwards MP said:

“As I am sure you are aware, France yesterday [Thursday 23 April] joined Denmark and Poland in exempting companies registered in offshore tax havens from its Government Coronavirus support packages.

“Although I recognise the Treasury has made unparalleled interventions, we are in unprecedented times and it clear that it is not enough to keep many businesses afloat. In particular, due the high take-up of these support schemes, there are growing concerns that smaller businesses could lose out to large, high-profit companies in receiving taxpayer-backed grants and loans.

“Equally, this crisis has further shown the importance to our society and economy of our public services. Our frontline NHS workers are day-in, day-out fighting this horrendous virus like heroes. The only reason they can do that is because of our publicly funded, free at the point of use, national health service.

“With this in mind, I am sure you would agree with me that it would be a travesty for taxpayer money, channelled through these support schemes, to go to companies who have deliberately sought to avoid paying their fair-share of tax. Having effectively picked the pockets of our public services, these companies cannot be allowed to be bailed out by the taxpayer.

“I therefore urge you to comprehensively exempt all companies registered in any tax haven from UK Government aid programmes and to publicly name these exempted companies.”