Labour criticise grants for tax-avoiding firms

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SCOTLAND’S two governments are guilty of “political immorality” by rewarding companies accused of tax dodging, according to Scottish Labour.

The party’s deputy leader Anas Sarwar said companies like online retailer Amazon do not pay their fair share in tax and criticised the UK and Scottish governments for continuing to hand them development grants.

IAmazon’s sites in Fife and Edinburgh were awarded £4.3 million in Scottish Enterprise Regional Selective Assistance grants and training awards, and another £6.3 million in construction grants through the Scottish Enterprise Property Support Scheme.

Mr Sarwar will name Amazon in a speech on equality and fairness in Glasgow’s Gorbals area today. In advance extracts of the speech, he said: “When companies like Amazon avoid paying their share, how is that company rewarded? Not with scorn and public condemnation, but with millions of pounds in government grants.”

An SNP spokesman said: “Anas Sarwar has said he doesn’t think there is any point in universal benefits like personal care for the elderly because some people do not live long enough to benefit.”