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Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

Carney concerned over Rise of the machines, too

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has singled out technology companies as being among the worst offenders for tax avoidance.

Speaking at a panel session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Carney said: "It should be recognised that some of the biggest firms to take the most advantage of international tax rules are technology companies."

He added: “The amount of tax they pay is small in relation to the system. A sense of responsibility is needed.”

During the session Carney also expressed concerns over artificial intelligence and its "ability to displace cognitive jobs."

Carney previously spent 13 years at the investment bank Goldman Sachs.

"Everything I did at Goldman Sachs could be replaced by technology - which tells you everything and why I had to leave," he joked.

Over the next decades the challenge will be for people to develop skills that cannot be displaced by machines, he said.

"The world we are creating is an opportunity for mass creativity. Those are the sorts of jobs that we need," he said.

In December Chancellor George Osborne announced a 25 per cent tax on company profits made in the UK but diverted abroad, singling out tech companies for a so-called "Google tax."

The Diverted Profits Tax will be applied at a rate of 25 per cent from 1 April 2015. ®


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