Compare and contrast Margaret Hodge’s holier-than-thou hectoring for not answering questions with her own non-answers in her Kay Burley interview yesterday. Here is Hodge berating Amazon’s Andrew Cecil at the Public Accounts Committee:
“Well, I think what we are going to have to do is order somebody to come who can give us answers to the questions we ask. We will order somebody to appear before us who does that. It is just not acceptable. I don’t know what you take us for, but we need proper answers to perfectly proper questions, which are trying to establish the economic activity in this country, and therefore what would be a reasonable corporation tax due. That is our job. The idea that you come here and simply do not answer the questions, and pretend ignorance, is just not on. It is awful… I cannot believe you have come without the information-or they have deliberately sent you. We will order somebody who can answer the questions, in public… Dear, dear. Well, we will have to come back to this.”
And here is Hodge’s humiliating exchange on SkyNews yesterday:
MH: I’m not, I’m not, I told you, I’m not, I haven’t, you know I don’t have any dealings with the company day to day.
KB: But you did say that you were confident that every penny that should be paid in tax has been paid in tax. You’ve obviously looked into it?
MH: Yes, I’m confident.
KB: And 0.01% is enough?
MH: No it isn’t 0.01, it’s what they pay, what they pay, the profits they make on the business they transact in the UK.
KB: And how much is that as a percentage of tax?
MH: I, I, I mean I can’t give you that answer.
KB: But you did say that every penny has been paid in tax so presumably you have the figures?
KB: You did say that every penny they should pay in tax has been paid…
MH: I, I also said to you I don’t work for that business. I’m a shareholder. I think you should ask the company if you have any questions.
“Dear, dear. We will have to come back to this”…