Simon English: Vodafone's tax talk is just a nuisance call

Outlook Large companies that spend so much on public relations and marketing, and worry so much about how they appear, don't half make a hash of it when they talk about tax.

Vodafone yesterday was typical. Maybe it pays enough tax, maybe it doesn't (I'd say not), but it could irritate us all a lot less if it used different language.

Everything that comes out the phone giant on this issue indicates that it regards taxes as optional. Even if that is reality, it's annoying.

So it pays them sometimes. It makes a "contribution", as if it were the wealthy guy on the hill dipping into his pocket once a year so the poor village folk can have Christmas lunch.

Vodafone and the others continue to think they deserve a pat on the back because they have just about followed the law. The gap between doing that and doing the right thing is often huge.

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