The utility provider Yorkshire Water has been accused of exploiting UK tax laws. It allegedly pays no corporation tax despite making over £185 million in profits. The claims were made by Yorkshire MPs who have held a meeting with the utility company at the House Of Commons in order to debate the issue. The company, who has been supplying water to the Yorkshire region, says it is in “total compliance” with the country’s tax laws.
Mr. Julian Smith, who is the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, has acknowledged that Yorkshire Water is technically not doing anything to break the law. However, he claims that the company is exploiting faults in the system and acting in a “malevolent way”. He wants to discuss how the rules could be changed to prevent this from happening in the future.
Julian Smith said:
It does come down to the corporate behaviour of individual firms. The rules that allow Yorkshire Water to do some of the things they are doing are quite legitimate and they are useful to many companies. But, if they are taken to the extent that Yorkshire Water is doing, if they are used in a malevolent way, then the taxpayer loses out.
The Conservative Member Of Parliament met with the company’s bosses. Following the meeting, Julian Smith said he was very disappointed that the company had made no apology and there was no sense of contrition.
Yorkshire Water released a statement following the MPs comments to explain that the water supplier would be happy to discuss the matter. It also stated that it contributes over £1 million to the regional economy in the Yorkshire county.
The statement it released said:
As a wholly UK tax resident company, we pay our tax in full and in total compliance with HMRC rules so we are concerned that some MPs have raised questions about the amount of tax we pay. We have always been completely open and transparent about our accounts.”We recently published our annual report which includes a full explanation of why the business is structured the way it is, how it is financed and how the government calculates how much corporation tax we have to pay.
Yorkshire Water has been providing water to the northern England since 1973. It currently serves West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and East Riding Of Yorkshire. Its parent is the Kelda Groupwho are based out of Bradford and also own utilities companies in the United States.