In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. Featuring the shadow chancellor on Google's tax arrangements.
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Can we really blame Google for not paying more tax?
We have low taxes in Britain, but those taxes are paid. This never
happened when there was a Labour Government in office, so you hear
them complaining about it, but they should have done something when they
were in office. Who's got it right? We speak live to the Shadow
Chancellor, John McDonnell. Take your eyes off Trump and look
at the Democrats for a moment - what once seemed like an easy race
for Hillary Clinton is now looking We speak to one of her closest
allies about her battle There are plenty of male politicians
who have outright scandals that happened to them and they overcome
them. So I see some of this through a gender lens, I can't help it.
We ask some of those experiencing it.
We don't pluck money off trees like they think. You have people back
home calling you and asking you for money. You are in London, you are
rich. They should come and see some of the jobs we are doing.
Boris Johnson wrote today - "...blame a shark for eating seals.
It is the nature of the beast and it's the law."
He was talking about Google and its tax bill.
His point was simple: How absurd to blame a company for attempting
to minimise the amount it pays out to the Government,
when it lies at the very root of what any finance director
So tonight, we step back from one company and one bill and ask if that
Is it immoral to use a loophole to your company's advantage?
And what should this whole debate tell us about our attitude
to taxation and the message our legislators send out
In a moment we'll talk to Labour's Shadow Chancellor,
John Mcdonnell, who called the Google settlement of ?130
million pounds "relatively insignifcant".
If you look closely enough and have the right equipment, you can even
see the apparently tiny sums that multinational corporations pay in UK
tax. Under the political microscope
today, the ?130 million settlement Google has paid in back taxes
in a deal with Her Majesty's Revenue According to the Shadow Chancellor,
this is a derisory sum. The Chancellor has managed to create
an unlikely alliance between myself, the Sun newspaper, the Mayor
of London and, according to reports, All of us think that this deal is
not the "major success" the Chancellor claimed at the weekend.
a lab that fights against malaria, rejected Labour's analysis.
I think it's good news is that we are collecting tax
That's thanks to the action that this
Government has taken to make sure that yes,
we have low taxes in Britain, but those taxes are paid.
But is the real problem that our tax system hasn't kept pace
According to the House of Lords economic affairs committee,
corporation tax in a given country is now largely voluntary
And that is particularly true of high-tech
Most of its value is created by intangibles.
And that is something the current tax
Google, for example, uses a manoeuvre known as the double
Irish, shifting profits between Ireland,
with low corporate rates of tax, and Bermuda, with no corporate
The problem for nation states is, this is all perfectly legal,
and as our economies evolve, more and
more companies will be able to do it.
What constitutes the correct amount of tax is becoming an elastic
Google is the symptom, but they're probably not the cause.
particularly the corporate tax system,
if we're to protect the tax base for the next 25 years.
Because even if the executives of a company woke up one day
and decided out of the goodness of their hearts
that their corporations should pay vastly more tax,
well, the people who own those companies
of perhaps the Labour Party, then they could face
where the shareholders would accuse them
So how might we change the tax system
so that companies can't shift their profits and costs
Well, one answer is to tax something
we will always be able to see where the sales are.
So we will be able to link the activity of the company
with taxation, something we are not able to do now.
The science of getting companies to pay more is far from simple.
The twin forces of globalisation and computerisation
make national boundaries, even in activities as mundane
as ordering a coffee, buying a book or hailing
I'm joined by Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell.
Thanks for coming in. This payout by Google hasn't impressed you. No.
Independent assessors have assessed it at about 3%. In comparison with
that, the corporation tax during this period was between 20% to 30%.
Other taxpayers, particularly businesses in this country, will be
startled and offended. What should it have been then? You go back to
the corporate tax rate, what should that rate be now? Again, independent
assessors have said if Google were paying what others were paying
throughout that period, instead of the 200 million they've paid for ten
years, on average they'd pay 200 million a year. You can see why
people across the House, it was all parties today, MPs from all parties
were expressing their concern. It was described by Boris Johnson
himself as derisory. The biggest question is whether the current tax
system itself works. You heard there, the correct amount of tax is
an elastic concept. Did you agree that the system is ripe for reform?
Andrew's announced a review by the Treasury Select Committee today of
the tax system. We've instituted one for the Labour Party already. I did
that at my conference speech last September. The system's not working.
A couple of problems - one, the lack of transpatience yr and openness.
The Chancellor -- transparency. The Chancellor didn't come to the House
today. He sent a junior minister. We need complete openness and
transparency. We need international agreements of country by country
reporting, so individual countries are reported what their profits are
country by country. I raised with the minister today, we cannot keep
on cutting and demoralising the staff at Midnight Mass Iraq. These
are the -- HMRC. These are the people who collect the taxes.
Transparency at the heart of this. Labour's plans to plans the books
will be aggressive, you said at conference, we will force people
like Starbucks, Amazon, Google to pay their fair share of taxes, what
does that mean to go after them aggressively? It means we cannot
allow deals like this in the future. We must design our tax system so
it's effective. If anyone owe fends against that we make sure they're
brought to book. That's the end of the double Irish, the end of
loopholes, what would you do with the corporate tax rate? This is what
I thought George Osborne was supporting, international agreements
which ensures that we don't have these schemes in place. This scheme
undermines those very international agreements we're putting forward,
because it's a one off that sets a precedent. What would you do, you
use the word "aggressive" in terms of what you would change now, what
are the loopholes that just vanish under Labour? It's making sure they
report their activities on the ground. They can't shift profits.
Where they make them in one country, remember Google made ?1 billion
worth of profits in 2014, they then shift those profits and other areas
of activity to other countries. Should for example Starbucks be
taxed on each individual outlet, each of the profits of an individual
coffee shop, is that what you'd like to see? Part review is to define
what economic activity is. If the profits are made within a country,
they should be taxed within that country. We need to do this by
international agreement, otherwise we'll find that people are using
devices to shift their burdens elsewhere and reduce their tax
burdens overall. Going back to that idea, would you like to see, for
example, Starbucks as an individual outlet taxed on profits or would you
like to see local authorities refuse planning permission to Starbucks
until they agree to pay what is right? I think we need, first of
all, national legislation reform. We need international agreement. So
it's not down to the individual sanctions of individual authorities.
This an early day motion sponsored by Jeremy Corbyn, your leader and
signed by you. That's right. Has that changed in your mind? Not at
all. We've been campaigning on this for 15, 20 years. We were looking at
different devices to raise the publicity around that. That was one
of the ideas that was come up with. It's just to raise publicity then,
it wasn't serious? It was to ensure that the range of activities on the
agenda that we can explore when we go into Government. What about a tax
on sales? What about taxing the activity of a company, its revenue
or sales? At the moment, the Government defines this taxation
based upon economic activity within the country. The problem with the
Google settlement - We know it's taxed on profits. Let's be clear,
what the Government is saying is that it's taxed on economic
activity. They would not define today in the Google settlement what
exactly that economic activity was. That's why we're saying there's got
to be openness and transparency. What should it be? We define
economic activity by the basis of the profits that you secure within a
country. It's down to profits. the profits that you secure within a
asking you one step further - can you imagine a system which actually
worked off the revenues a company was making or the sales it was
making, rather than the profits is that the direction to go in? We've
always worked on the basis that you seek to tax on the economic
activity, based on identification of profits within a country itself. If
we can secure openness and transparency, we can identify what
the economic activities of that company is within the country, what
the profits are, and then we can determine the level of taxation that
we need to basically to ensure we have our services paid for. Also we
need international agreement so there isn't this transfer and
avoidance of tax. From one to another. Yes. I'm thinking back to
the phrase you used at conference, "new politics requires new
economics". There will be people expecting you to come in and do
economics". There will be people something radically different, to
rely re-- really reset the button between the relationship with the
corporate giants that seem to be getting away with it and with the
Government in waiting, which you want to be. This sounds like more of
the same. Not at all. You said transparency, debate, we'll look at
this. I don't see anyone saying we're going to do things radically
different. This is radical. Making sure companies open their books and
we can have complete openness and transparency. So it's just about
transparency. You're not saying put up the corporate tax rate. Wait for
it. Once you have openness, you can determine the economic activities,
the profits they're making. Then we can set the tax rates on the basis
what have we think is fair. What's unfair is companies out there across
the UK filling in their tax forms, as are individuals, what they're
paying is rates of tax, corporation tax 20%, higher on income tax, then
Google paying 3%. That's unacceptable, unfair. We need to
make sure the corporations cannot use tax avoidance measures to avoid
their responsibilities to pay in for the public services, for example the
education and training of their workforce. There are people who felt
at one time they should boycott Starbucks if they didn't agree with
the tax. Would you boycott Google? I've been involved in a range of
boycotting campaigns. Do you boycott Google? The problem, is that a
number of the IT companies have virtual monopolies, so most of us
use it. We have to make sure where they are in such a dominant place -
You carry on using Google broadly, there's nothing that you can do that
would scare off people? Because they're so dominant within the
market that's the reality of what we're dealing with. That's why you
design a tax regime so you ensure those monopolies pay their full
taxes and contribute towards the society they operate in. You don't
think there's anything to scare Google off? Yes, it is. It's going
to be John McDonnell and the Labour Party? It's society as a whole. We
saw the Government isolated today on a cross-party basis people saying
we've had enough of this, we want a fair taxation system and we're going
to achieve it. Corporate tax at 18%, that's where it's headed is that the
right amount to you? No, it isn't. That's too low. We would bring it
back to 20%. We believe 18% is too low. In addition, they're reducing
taxation, yet a large number of corporations and companies are
sitting on earned income and not investing it. We want to ensure they
invest in our society. Thank you. Thanks for coming in.
The US presidential race has - for the past few months -
been dominated by the politically-implausible,
larger-than-life character of Donald Trump,
which means much of what's happening in the Democratic race
But if that race once looked like the coronation
of Hillary Clinton, now it's looking more like a proper fight.
Her challenger, Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist
from Vermont, currently leads the polls in the first two electoral
Now the former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg -
a man whose coffers make Donald Trump look like a pauper -
suggested he might enter the race for the White House if the contest
came down to a fight between Sanders and Trump.
In a moment, we'll hear from Anne-Marie Slaughter,
one of Clinton's closest political allies.
First, a reminder of the race to date.
Sometimes, an attack is the biggest compliment a politician can
So Bernie Sanders has clearly gone up in Hillary Clinton's estimation
if this jab at his healthcare plan is anything to go by.
In theory, there is a lot to like
about some of his ideas. But "in theory" isn't enough.
A president has to deliver in reality.
The Sanders surge has also prompted another politician
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is hinting that he'll get
into the race if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz
wins the Republican nomination, and Bernie Sanders becomes
For his part, Mr Sanders appears to welcome a Bloomberg bid.
If Donald Trump wins and Mr Bloomberg gets in,
you'll have two multi billionaires running
for President of the United States against me.
And I think the American people do not want to see our nation
where billionaires control the political process.
Meanwhile, the Republican race frontrunner Donald Trump has
been laying out how bullet-proof his popularity really is.
They say I have the most loyal people,
I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot
somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters.
To reflect on this, I spoke to Anne-Marie Slaughter,
former senior adviser to Mrs Clinton.
You've worked very closely with Hillary Clinton,
who for years, to the world, seemed like she had the Democratic
nomination pretty much in the bag this time.
Now, suddenly, there is the spectre of what happens in Iowa
and New Hampshire if Bernie Sanders pips her to the post.
Well, I am still pretty confident that she will have
the Democratic nomination and I do think it is not a bad thing
for her to be challenged, because the American voters do not
like a coronation, whether it is a man or woman,
particularly, probably, if it is a woman.
So she will fight for it and as she fights, that is part
She is tough and experienced, and I think she will
If she didn't, I for one would look at this and think,
I'm not sure we're going to have a woman
You can't get more qualified than she is.
Of course, there have been lots of issues in her life.
You can't be in the public eye for that long
and not have lots of issues, but there are plenty of male
politicians who have plenty of outright scandals that happened
to them, and they have overcome them.
So I do see some of this through a gender lens,
I can't help it, because I am looking at her and thinking,
what more could you want in a president?
The interesting dichotomy is that she should be
the ground-breaking candidate, the first woman, and she doesn't
seem like the ground-breaking candidate, because
America feels that they know her almost too well.
She feels like the establishment to many people.
We saw that with Obama, too, this disgust with the system,
rightly in many ways, because the system is broken.
Yes, they have cast her as the establishment,
but I also think it is because younger women
don't realise how revolutionary it is to have a woman being taken
seriously as a presidential candidate.
Did you see Obama's recent comments that he
thinks Hillary Clinton has got unfair scrutiny,
and that he even regrets the tone of the battle they had in 2008?
I did not see that, but I was furious with him
back when he said, "You're likeable enough, Hillary".
I did think he patronised her in the 2008 election,
and it was one of the things, I wanted him too, but in the end
I supported her, because I think she was treated in a very
and good for him for saying that now.
When you look at the race, and the suggestion that Bloomberg
might come into it, could you see that?
Is that a good move as an independent?
Well, I look at this and think, wait a minute,
between two white male billionaires, really?
Is that what American politics has come down to?
I don't know whether he will do it. I don't think he should.
This is not a professional view, but I don't think
it would be good for American politics to have a kind of
very wealthy, white knight ride to the rescue,
because a woman, what? That she can't win?
Let's have this election, and let's give her a chance,
and I also think if there is another attack,
if there are any other national-security events,
and there will be, voters are going to think,
who do you want in charge when that happens?
Can you see a scenario in which Donald Trump wins
the nomination and wins the presidency?
I can see a scenario in which he wins the nomination.
But not the presidency, you cannot imagine President Trump?
But I have a lot of confidence in Hillary Clinton.
We could be looking at the first female presidency by November.
Do you think that would feel different?
Should it feel different if a woman is the president?
I think it will feel enormously different.
We can say women have got there, but in fact, in the corridors
of power, and let's face it, the Oval Office is the ultimate seat
of power, certainly in the United States and in many
ways in the world, having a woman in that
position does say to every woman and every girl,
His lifelong hero was Earnest Shackleton,
across the Antarctic that Henry Worlsley was trying
to recreate - with the huge, added challenge that Worsley
Like Shackleton, his bravery and his willingness to endure
endless, uncharted terrain led him into a desperate race for survival
The British explorer died of organ failure,
tragically, when the end of the mission was almost in sight -
just 30 miles remained of his 1,000-mile journey.
Prince William has led the tributes to the former SAS officer,
who died raising money for wounded soldiers.
All alone in Antarctica, Henry Worsley kept an audio diary of his
extraordinary trek. He hoped to achieve what his great hero, Sir
Ernest Shackleton, had failed to do a century earlier, and cross this
great white wilderness. On earlier accompanied adventures, Worsley
settled down for the long evenings with Shackleton's writing. We would
read the heart of Antarctica every night, and pick out bits of his
diary that are absolutely spot on to where we have got two on the
journey. Very meaningful, brings it all to life, particularly the
description of the views he can say and the trouble he is having with
his ponies, and even the weather. He had worse weather than we are
having. Shackleton is one of the great romantic figures of British
exploration. His epic mission failed after his ship was crushed by ice,
but he kept his men alive. They all came home again. He is remembered in
an exhibition at the royal geographical Society in London. I
think it has a lot to do with the psyche of the British public in
terms of the storytelling that goes with all of these expeditions,
because they are handed down to us through generations. There is always
a willingness for somebody to give up something for others. Those were
the equivalence of Nasa sending men into space. They have a sense of
where they were going. They had all the equipment and the skills they
could have individually, but ultimately, it was the men in the
wilderness environment. On his earlier journey in the South
Pole, Henry Worsley reached the spot where Shackleton decided he couldn't
go on. The decision to turn back must be one of the greatest
decisions taken in the whole annals of exploration, particularly polar
exploration. He came so close. He pioneered this route, 850 miles.
Every day, he was seeing new sites. 97 miles to go, and turns round when
such a glorious prize is staring him in the face.
I'm joined by record-breaking Polar explorer, Caroline Hamilton,
and from our Birmingham studio, professional explorer Mark Wood,
who was a friend of Henry Worsley and has completed over 30 major
expeditions around the world, including a solo expedition
Mark, I know you were good friends with Henry and we really got a sense
in that film of the man at the heart of this tragedy. How did you see
him? Well, I met Henry when I arrived at the South Pole in 2012,
after my solo attempt there. I found it extraordinarily difficult to
reach the Pole itself, and when I first met Henry, he was full of
smiles and fun and laughter, and then I found out five minutes later
that he had just completed an 80 day plus expedition himself. So an
extraordinary, strong willed, powerful man, with a deep sense of
humour. Do you understand that need for solo exploration? It seems to be
quintessential to this expedition, that drive to do it alone. Yeah.
Exploring is either about what you walk through and what you see more
or what you feel internally. To do a solo expedition is a different step
altogether. You can't train for it, you just have to be thrown into the
deep end. I can understand why Henry wanted to take up this expedition
historically, but also for personal reasons. That is why we export to
begin with. It all becomes personal. Caroline, how do you explain to
somebody who is not an explorer just why you would take your life in your
hands like this to achieve something like that? I think it is about
challenging yourself. It is there, it is a wonderful thing to do. As
Mark has been saying, when you are out there, you have an inner journey
going on at the same time as the outer journey. And Antarctica and
the Arctic are incredibly beautiful. It is such a privilege to be there.
The whole thing as an assault on every sense. Not just what it looks
like, it is what it sounds like and smells like, and to be able to bend
70 or 80 days, however long you are out there it a huge privilege to be
in a wonderful part of the planet. You are talking about conditions of
-40 or lower. What does the cold do to you mentally and to your actions?
It affects everything. I remember many evenings in the 10th, where you
are melting snow to a quarter to drink and to make your food with --
in the tent. And as you melt the water, you get steam coming out from
the water. You have condensation from your own breath. I remember
days digging in the tent when the whole place would be in a kind of
fog and nobody could give anything to say to each other except how cold
we were. We couldn't see each other. We couldn't think of anything to
say. Mark, when you heard, in the film, Henry describing that moment
for Shackleton, the agony of turning back, does that perhaps tell you
something about why he himself left it so late? It is difficult to say,
but I think if you are travelling as a team, then when you get medical
conditions and you have other people to add their judgment to it, I think
if it was a team approach, the expedition would have stopped
earlier. But because Henry has got this tremendous drive and
determination in him, any injuries that come up, you think you can get
through it. I can't really speak for the situation, but I presume it was
sheer determination, that he thought he could get past it and reach the
final goal. And do you think that ultimately, that was where it went
wrong, that you lose your sense of judgment of how bad things have got?
Yeah, again, it is difficult to say, but I would say that you haven't got
anything to measure it against apart from yourself. So I think he pushed
it as far as he could and then literally, his body said Noel, I
can't do this any more. -- his body said no. The problem with great
explorers like Henry is that he has this real dog-eared British
determination to just go that bit further --. Determination. And it
might have been the ultimate decision, really. Caroline, when you
think how connected we all are all the time, in a way, that is what
makes a journey like this so extraordinary, the idea that you
don't see humankind, you don't have any contact. Is that what makes it
more attractive? That is part of the joy of it. You
are self-sufficient. If you're in a team, you have people to share
problems with and would can help with decision making. But even if
you're a small group, you're entirely self-sufficient in this
amazing wilderness, that is part of the appeal, yes. Thank you both very
much. The writer Ben Judah grew up
in London, but he says it's changed so much in recent years,
he no longer knows whether he loves In a new book, he attempts to get
beneath the surface of this new London, sleeping in subways
and squatting in a dosshouse, getting to know some
of the characters behind He made this film for us,
with some of the many people he met People see this place to be, like,
heaven. They think as soon as you arrive, you start plucking money off
trees and picking them from the floor, whatever. But it's entirely
different. I never dream of London. I can only see the buildings and
about the Royal Family in the movie. If you can call it British dream,
London dream, you name, it I think you can make it. This is the new
London. An immigrant megacity, where nearly 40% were born abroad. I was
born in London but I no longer recognise the city. I'm in search
the stories that make up its new soul. I'm currently working in the
cleaning industry. I'm a cleaner. How long is the commute? Takes me
about an hour. Who are the people on the train in the morning? Well, you
see a lot of people going to work, mostly immigrants. Going to work at
this time of the day. London is changing. Around half the street
sleepers are eastern European tramps. Is London difficult?
Difficult, yeah. I don't know English. I coming here, it's very
difficult. The people who coming here must speak the English language
first. After they find a job, England have the jobs. Nicolai is
off to find work. When it comes, it won't pay well. On the Romanian
black market, the lowest wage I saw was one chicken and chips for a
day's work. I don't have another solution, so I am on the streets. I
can't bank because I don't have address. When I go to the agency,
they want account bank to pay me. Where I go? I go in the street. He
touts for work on the kerb every day. This is the London I've
conculled, the city of beggars, black markets and doss houses. Why
do they come? Because for men of a trade, for the few, the London dream
can be real. I have literally ?250 in my pocket. I stayed in a room
with a friend of mine, which he was already here. And I went out
literally the next day to look for the job. I would stand on the corner
where you have all other chaps waiting for the work. I speak up
like the other people, that's how it worked those days. Every town in
Poland has its London son, the boy who made it. He inspires 100 more.
When all the Poles were coming, they were cautious about us. Now they're
much more open. They prefer us on the building sites. They prefer us
to do the building for them. Comparing to the native people. Fay
came from your home -- if I came from your home town and I asked -
should I come to London? What would you say? Yes, come over. I own three
companies at the moment. I've got some renting properties. I own a
house. I'm very happy. Do you think your children will be English first
or Polish first? Looks like they're going to be English first, because
we speak Polish at home, but they do speak English to each other. They
speak perfectly Polish, perfect English. But they still, I would
say, they are going to be more English than Polish. But mostly,
migrants clean, wait and guard the golden city, never to enter. Jesy is
from the Philippines. She works as a maid for the absentee owners of a
superflat. I have missed my family very much. I left my daughter when
she was one year and 11 months old. Because back home, I couldn't earn
money to support my family, so I have to make an arrangement with my
husband that one of us has to go and one has to stay to take care of my
daughter. She found work bringing up another child, a little boy. She was
a nanny. When the time came to go, she learned servants are never part
of the family. When it comes to the point that we need to say goodbye,
it's very hard for us this separation. I experienced it. Until
now, this boy still here if my heart. Are you still in touch with
the boy? The parents doesn't want them, doesn't want him to think
about me any more. So they told him that I left London. Yes. Because he
was crying and crying when I left. At night, London myrrh murmurs --
murmurs. To be poor this London is to be tired. For years, Wester
worked two jobs, cleaning day and night.
I had a dream of becoming a system engineer, Microsoft engineer. But
for now, I think I've gone astray. I'm still not giving up on my
dreams. I'm still working on it. I can't complain. I'm doing well in
the cleaning business. So, I can't complain. I'm not hungry. When you
told your friends in Ghana you were going to London, what did they say?
Everybody was happy. Like I said, some people back home think Europe,
once you step in there you become a rich man overnight. And even to
date, you still have some people calling and asking you for money.
Even if you tell them you are broke, no, you are not. When we see you
here, we know you're languishing, you know in riches and all that.
You're just being stingy because you don't want to send us no money. This
is what I want them to know that life is Notts all that milk -- not
all that milk and roses here in London. Did you find work today? I
don't. I don't find. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow is another day. Every
day, it's another day, with a chance. The London gives one million
chance every day. Is it scary at night? It's all the crazy people.
Must be careful, in the night. The night is dangerous. London glows in
the villages of Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, stirring up dreams.
Tempting, like the city of Oz. Senegal's most famous son,
Baba Maal has released his first album in seven years,
and he's in Britain performing it. Hes with us here,
tonight, with this song,
In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. Featuring the shadow chancellor on Google's tax arrangements, Anne-Marie Slaughter on Hillary Clinton, the death of Antarctic explorer Henry Worlsley, the migrant poor of London and Baba Maal.