BoJo vs Bezos: Boris Johnson challenges Amazon's tax record during meeting in NYC
09/21/2021 | 11:10am EDT
Boris Johnson discussed the issue of taxation at a New York meeting with Amazon-founder Jeff Bezos.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the news, saying that “the prime minister raised the issue of taxation, and hoped progress could be in implementing the G7 agreement on tax,” during a meeting yesterday. Reportedly the Prime Minister pushed for multinational tech companies to pay more tax in countries where they do business.
The news comes after it was revealed that Amazon paid just £492m in direct UK taxes last year despite increasing revenue to £20.6bn after successive lockdowns drove shoppers to the tech giant’s online store.
Mr Bezos pledged to give away $1bn in grants this year to focus on efforts around climate change and conservation.
The pledge is part of the Bezos Earth Fund, which the Amazon founder started last year to invest $10bn into funding scientists, activists and non-profit organisations in the fight against environmental destruction.
According to the Downing Street spokesperson, “the Prime Minister welcomed the Bezos Earth Fund’s commitment, announced tonight, to give $1bn to protect forests and remove carbon from the air. The Prime Minister and Mr Bezos agreed to work together to see what more could be done in the run up to and at COP26.”
In a Twitter post, Bezos called the meeting “useful and enjoyable,” and said it featured a “good exchange of ideas on climate change with a lot of passion around preserving and restoring the natural world.”
Boris Johnson is on a State visit to the US ahead of the UN’s COP26 summit which will be held in the UK. Johnson plans to urge world leaders to take concrete action on climate change during meetings in New York this week.