May 21st, 2013

Miliband’s Google Glass House

Just one problem with Ed’s Google-bashing this afternoon:

Guido readers will know that HuffPoUK is owned by AOL Limited, whose parent company is the Luxembourg-registered AOL Europe Sarl.

In 2010 AOL UK Limited, HuffPo’s esteemed owners, had a revenue of £78 million. Despite that they paid just £122,000 in corporation tax, cleverly moving £30 million out of the reach of the UK tax authorities by “repatriating” a dividend payment to a tax avoidance special purpose vehicle (SPV) AOL Europe Sarl, registered in the tax haven of Luxembourg. This meant, despite returning 38% of revenue to shareholders, they had an effective tax rate of less than 1%. Guido looks forward to Ed’s article attacking AOL and HuffPo for “going to extraordinary lengths to avoid paying taxes”. His spokesman insists that “all companies need to be responsible.”

Further reading on HuffPo’s tax avoidance hypocrisy:


  1. 1
    lolwut says:



    • 5
      Roger Cook says:

      Breaking News….

      Cliff’s house searched by police this afternoon….

      More to follow….


      • 7
        Hertford and Stortford says:

        who will sing at Wimbledon this year?


        • 12
          Gary Glitter says:

          I’m available.


          • Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

            We are the fools in the UK, while our poxy politicians tax dodge with their corporate mates to their hearts content. They even avoid paying VAT for fuck sakes, by claiming it all back at the end of the tax year. We need to fuck these cnuts before they fuck us.


          • The Fault of Government says:

            Governments set the rules and collect the tax, and sane people all do their best to avoid paying. Its a tax code not a moral code.


          • Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

            Where is the law initially made? What is the name of that place in London, that fucked up law place, can remember it’s name, they are to blame, they need to get off their fat arses and sort it. Lincoln’s Inn is it? Something like that it is.


        • 71
          efrem zimbalist jr says:

          probably cliff with “bachelor boy ” ???


      • 21
        Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

        Met Coppers high up are nonses too, remember that, that is why that affair is dragging on, like watching a garden slug travel along your back garden path. Perverts, the lot of them. Shoot the lot of them.


      • 25
        JH32489238490234 says:

        I bet it happened on that double decker bus.


      • 56
        Nightmare in Elm House says:

        Here, Kitty.


  2. 2
    Rob says:

    All companies need to be responsible, but some companies need to be more responsible than others. Obviously.


    • 22
      Lord Stansted says:

      That’s not logical. Either one is responsible or one isn’t. It’s a state: not a condition capable of qualification.


      • 24
        V1le, vicious Labour ruined my Country says:

        Hodge says I get away with tax hodging on my enormous shareholding but others who are not socialist are not allowed to.


      • 31
        George Orwell says:

        Read Animal Farm.
        Then we’ll talk.


    • 36
      SouthEastVote says:

      Companies are responsible to their shareholders. Normally this is to:
      Sell more
      Increase Profits
      Lower Costs

      Therefore the responsible thing to do is try and reduce the tax bill.

      Well done to Google, HuffPoUK and any other companies who legally avoid tax.


  3. 3
    The Public says:

    So, Miliband is a hypocritical lying scumbag.

    And your point is?


  4. 4
    CarryHole is a vile Hunt says:

    If government charged for what it created (Land Rights, Patents, Copyrights and some contract arbitration) then there could be no tax avoidance.


  5. 6
    Small State, Low Taxes, Out of the EU says:

    Leftist student leader who has never ran a business, created wealth or employment or had a proper job in hypocrisy shocker.


  6. 8
    Anonymous says:



  7. 9
    Norman Tebbit says:

    In my day, we only had butch heteros in our cabinet, like Leon Brittan.


  8. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Are they still drooling over pictures of under-age girls in their skimpies?


  9. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Oh come on, who cares?!


  10. 17
    Integrity trail says:

    Talk about glass houses and throwing stones


  11. 19
    Reality fight says:


  12. 27
    Towel Rack says:

    This is a genuine question addressed to older readers: was the passing of the Abortion Act more or less divisive than the gay marriage legislation?


    • 32
      Older reader says:

      What abortion act?


      • 34
        Even older reader says:

        The real rot set in with the liberalisation of the divorce laws.


        • 37
          Member of the upper middle classes says:

          We could afford to pay ex wives with no problem. But the middle and working classes cannot, hence the mess of so many single divorced parents depending on state hand outs now.


          • Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

            Batman on top of Westminster – remember that? Laughed my arse off I did.


    • 40
      Herr Richter says:

      On my scale I give abortion as a 1 as opposed to the Metropolitan Liberal Elite’s extreme obsession with unnatural practices as a 7.8


    • 43
      Eeyore says:

      Interesting Q.

      My (dim) recollection is that the zeitgeist then was more in tune with David Steel’s private member’s bill than it is with the present nonsense. The usual suspects (Rome, Canterbury) were agin it, for their own perfectly respectable reasons, while the majority of the populace was broadly in tune with the notion of a woman’s right to choose, though there were many dissenters.

      Of course, we were all young and consequently stupid (OK, inexperienced); the mechanics of it were glossed over and most of us did not enquire further. It was only later that the horrors of viable foetuses (that is, sentient human beings, to non-medics) being thrown into bins emerged.

      If I’d known more then I’d have wanted only the earliest pregnancies terminated (Nadine is spot on here), but as it was it seemed to be part of the progressivism that swept us along. In this, as in so much else from those days, the ‘progress’ was shot through with illusion.

      ‘All change is for the worse’ (Virgil?) now seems to me to be the test that ought to be applied to every scheme from Whitehall, yet CallMeDave and the rest of the political class propose all change as improvement. They ought to have to prove it first before they’re allowed to touch anything.


  13. 29
    Nothing Better To Do says:

    Surely a company that paid more tax than they absolutely had to is not being responsible. It has a legal duty to maximize revenue for it’s shareholders not the government.

    What about the argument that paying tax to a bunch of lying, thieving, warmongering politicians is neither moral nor logical?


    • 35
      Tony Blair says:

      I resent that description of a British politician.
      I’m not a thieving .. and…what were the other two again?


  14. 33

    I don’t think this tax dodging story is very relevant to modern politics.

    Let’s talk about gay marriage again.


  15. 38
    Moussa Koussa Mark 10 says:

    You are rambling Guido !!!!!!

    Google makes a lot of money from the UK…and pays little or no tax to UK PLC



    • 42
      Angela Meerkat says:

      That’s what he’s saying noodle brain.

      If you can’t keep up, try sitting at the kiddies table. Or ‘Comment is Free’ to give it its proper name.


  16. 39
    Anonymous says:

    What the Politicians need to do is Legislate for the world we live in, there’s no point in telling Companies they are Evil, if the Directors are working within the law.

    Its correct that Companies should be looking to maximise Shareholder Value, once you make that a subjective requirement, it will fail.

    Simple Answer, Legislators need to do their job properly, they appear the negligent party in this farce


    • 48
      Eeyore says:

      Absolutely right. How the politicians have the barefaced cheek to criticise businesses, or individuals, who act lawfully beats me.

      If they don’t like the behaviour they should change the law. Only they can do that. Simples.

      And as for the millionaire Hodge, she’s only primus inter pares.


  17. 41
    Anonymous says:


    Is there a difference I have missed?


  18. 45
    Dick Whittington's Cat says:

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    How about “Don’t throw stones regardless of the housing situation”

    It’s a pretty crappy thing to do


  19. 46
    Sulla says:

    We march on Whitehall.
    Then post lists of the names of traitors in the forum. Murder them and confiscate their assets.

    After that pretty much everything else sorts itself out.


  20. 47
    Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

    This site is a mess,
    I don’t know where I am.
    Posts comments all over the place,
    and there is me, dodging spam.

    Post a comment, then think look back,
    but to where in this maze of a place.
    Ah yes there, I chance find, to delight,
    when some cnut says I am a spanner.

    So tell him “Oi’ll feck yews” and so it goes on,
    debating gormlessly as you do.
    Then one of us backs down, fall off seat drunk,
    into the night, chew one’s shoe.

    My point is, it is a nightmare here to try and find a point you thought was important. “Thought” is the key word, I think, here. ;)


  21. 49
    Polly Pot says:

    Dodging tax is {mostly} wrong


  22. 50
    Living in 97.1% white Merseyside says:

    That’s capitalism. You have to take the good with the bad. We all enjoy the services they provide especially, in my case, Amazon.

    What would the world be like without them. It would be like living behind the Iron Curtain (Stettin to Trieste) in the 1950’s.


    • 58
      Tachybaptus says:

      I’m going back to old-fashioned bookshops. Amazon’s deliveries via CityLink are now too bad to tolerate. If you live in a flat rather than a house, the courier won’t leave a card if he tries to deliver when you are out, ‘for security reasons’. Their tracking site is often days out of date. It’s worth paying a couple of quid more to avoid the hassle.


  23. 51
    Ed Moribund says:

    I’m sorry I got confused.
    I keep banging on about the 1%. Then I forgot that they were the bad guys and the 99% were the goodies.



  24. 53
    Scottish Chav says:

    Ed … Arrse …. Arrse …. Ed


    • 57
      Scots Irony says:

      Farck arwf bha’ to Hangerland yer racists


      • 60
        Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

        I’m a Welsh chav, and proud of it, so to test id the bad language m o d b o t has caught up with Wales/Cymru, here goes -cnuch bant y fwrch iawn a cenecho tu mam ac fi gwybod ti moin, lan y fwrch ti wedi dod o.

        I recommend you don’t google translate that is you are easily offended.and yes, google translate does have a welsh selection, since I, ahem!, have mates there, who I advised to set that part up. Got nothing for it though, the corporate bastardoes! Can, non-yng Ngymraeg,


        • 62
          Boris Mk2, in a dress says:

          Evie Goodman she is called, from Pembrokeshire, not Hanna as I posted yesterday or Sunday…

          Bookings available! :)


  25. 54
    Long John Silver's parrot says:

    I do not blame Google one bit for the way they minimize their tax.

    I blame politicians who pass complicated tax legislation and then give all sorts of exemptions and supposed incentives before completely wasting the money with which they are entrusted .

    As taxpayers we have had billions and billions of pounds taken off us to build two aircraft carriers yet the RN will have no operative carrier for many years.


    • 59
      The Bishop of LLandaff says:

      And while you are at it parrot I don’t like electric cars because I think they are absolutely useless for driving up and down the MI.

      So along comes some daft sod who goes out and buys one and lo and behold I get a bill of £7,000 from the Government to subsidise the daft twat.

      Its true I tell you and which Minister arranged this ?

      Bloody Hammond the heir apparent! And what car does Hammond drive? A jaguar.

      You see millionaire’s don’t bother too much about a tank full of petrol because it is all small change for them when they have filled themselves up with all those nice little tax free investments they keeping passing around.


  26. 61
    Mrs Duffy from Rochdale says:

    It is not the CEOs of PLC companies who are the problem.

    It is them bastards in Westminster.

    They are the ones who have ruined the Country.

    Just look at some of those names.

    Grant Schapps. I have never heard of anyone with such a strange sounding name. Milliband is a new one on me . And what prize prat would choose to go around calling himself Reckless. I thought Balls was a bad enough name but where have Dorries and Luciana flocked in from?


  27. 63
    Lady Oppenmeimer Hodge says:

    There is nothing wrong with this. It is what I do.


  28. 64
    Miliband is national embarassment says:

    What a plonker. He’s giving offshore tax-dodging website free articles whilst criticising the very thing.

    The man is clueless.


  29. 67
    Ed Miliband says:

    Margaret Hodge advises me on which companies are evil. Margaret knows a lot about tax avoidance, not sure why.


  30. 74
    Harlito says:

    He probably should have went to specsavers


  31. 75
    Long John Silver's parrot says:

    A Company which came from nowhere makes a success of itself within a generation.

    It is now ridiculed and made out to be public enemy Number One by a group of people whose main claim to fame appears to be hereditary wealth, family influence and a private school education.

    I rest my case.


    • 76
      Squire Trelawney says:

      On the other hand if you are a tried and trusted FTSE 100 company who has been paying out far too much in dividends to people for years and you get into difficulty then you phone up all your old chums in Government and get them to give you pots and pots of taxpayers’ money to bail you out.

      The Opposition do not even squeak whilst this is going on because they are also your old chums.

      When the Opposition become the Government they look at the bailout and realize that there are weezes available to make a few more shillings out of all of this.


  32. 77
    Lost in Clacton says:

    The people who allowed fine British institutions such as Halifax Building Society and Abbey National to be privatized and run into the ground should be rounded up and shot.


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