Telecoms giant Lycamobile has come under widespread attack by MPs after admitting that it has not paid corporation tax in the UK since 2007 and will not do so for at least a year.
Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales, member of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "I believe Lycamobile is one of the many companies who export the profits from their UK activities to tax havens via interest payments and so forth."
"I feel that a company that makes no UK profit should not be donating to a UK political party."
Swales' comments come as the Public Accounts Committee is reported to be planning an investigation into tax breaks used by mobile phone networks.
Michael Landau, Lycamobile's chief financial officer, said the firm, which turns over more than £120m in the UK, did not pay corporation tax in the UK because it ploughs its profits back into the group in order to grow the business.
"Lycamobile is a very fast growing company as an affiliated group of companies and all the profits that we make get reinvested back into the group to grow the business further on," he told the Huffington Post UK.
"Every cent that this business earns goes back into growing this business into making it a more valuable proposition. That has been the way this business has been run since way before I joined and it was set up to run that way and is still growing."
Lycamobile's tax arrangements, although perfectly legal, have drawn criticism from politicians. Labour MP and Public Administration committee member Paul Flynn told the Huffington Post UK: "This sounds outrageous. The situation cries out for investigation and exposure."
Landau told HuffPostUK that Lycamobile could start paying corporation tax when it is become sufficiently "mature" in the UK in one to two years.
"We're still recovering from the heavy investment which took place 3 years ago which only now we're starting to come out of by utilizing our tax losses.
"There will be a time in the future when the business is mature. At the moment certain companies are coming into profitability as they mature, and the expectation as that starts to happen is that those particular companies' legal entities will start to pay tax. Lycamobile UK is an example of that and the expectation is that it'll start to pay tax pretty soon.
"The expectation is that the company will have used up all its tax losses within the next 12 to 24 months and therefore in that period the company will start paying tax."
CEO Milind Kangle refused to answer questions about tax, saying: "I'm not a tax expert".
The telecoms firm's insistence that it doesn't pay corporation tax because of its lack of profit has drawn condemnation from MPs as the firm has been a firm backer of the Conservatives, donating nearly half a million pounds (£426292) since 2011.
Lycamobile donations to the Tories, according to the Electoral Commission
The backing is understood to have included the use of the firm's offices for telephone canvassing by London Mayor Boris Johnson's re-election campaign in 2011.
Labour MP John Mann, member of the Treasury Select Committee, told the Huffington Post UK that Lycamobile's arrangements were a "slap on the face of tax-paying households and businesses in the UK".
Asked if Lycamobile engaged in transfer pricing, a practise by which divisions of a company deal with each other in supplies and money, Landau said: 'We employ blue chip auditors globally to ensure that every trading relationship between all the different companies are all done at arms length and all stack up and there's no unfair, or illegal or any kind of profit manipulation that does not get any kind of sign off from senior partners in London and second partners as well."
Asked if that meant yes or no, Landau said: "I'm not saying we do transfer pricing or not, I'm saying what we do is fully signed off and fully approved by the world's best consultants. I'm very comfortable with that position."
"I need to be reassured and I reassure the board that everywhere we operate the relationship between the companies is fully arms-length and documented. I'm fully comfortable with that position."
Hedge fund manager The Australian-British businessman made his <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050331/Michael-Hintze-Hedge-fund-baron-David-Camerons-sugar-daddy.html#ixzz1b88dXKaA" target="_blank">£1.2bn fortune</a> after launching his own hedge fund, CQS, in 1999. Hintze became of the Tories' biggest sugar daddies, having written out cheques for nearly <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050331/Michael-Hintze-Hedge-fund-baron-David-Camerons-sugar-daddy.html#ixzz1b88dXKaA" target="_blank">£4 million in loans and donations</a>. He has frequently offered the Tories the use of his private jet, with David Cameron and George Osborne jumping on board to fly back from the 2008 Tory conference and Liam Fox using it to travel with his chum Adam Werrity to the U.S in May 2011. And we all know how that journey with Werrity and Fox ended up - <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/10/10/liam-fox-made-serious-mis_n_1004209.html" target="_blank">a ministerial resignation.</a>
Job: Private equity tycoon - and now Lord and government minister Nash must have been honoured in January 2013 to not just be drafted into government but also given a peerage. He had been a faithful backer of the Tories, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/jan/10/gove-appoints-john-nash-education-minister" target="_blank">giving nearly £300,000 to the party since 2006. </a> Nash's interest in education matters would have been developed by his management of the Pimlico Academy, which he took over in 2008.
Mick "the Miner" Davis
Mining boss As chief executive of mining giant Xstrata from 2001 to 2013, Davis enjoyed a salary of <a href="http://investing.businessweek.com/research/common/symbollookup/symbollookup.asp?textIn=XTA:LN" target="_blank">$5,396,659.</a> The firm has a registered office in London although is <a href="http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/04/tax-havens-and-cosy-deals-the-xstrata-story/" target="_blank">headquarted for tax in the little Swiss canton of Zug. </a> The mining executive was also one of a couple of businessmen who funded <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/29/adam-werritty-liam-fox-pargav" target="_blank">Pargav, </a>a not-for-profit group run by Liam Fox's former best man and close confidante Adam Werrity. Davis topped the Tory donor leaderboard in 2013, <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10059773/Xstratas-Mick-Davis-gives-500000-to-Conservatives.html" target="_blank">giving £50,000 to the party in the first quarter of this year. </a> He previously gave <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10059773/Xstratas-Mick-Davis-gives-500000-to-Conservatives.html" target="_blank">£150,000 to the Tories in 2010/11</a>, along with £7,500 to Education Secretary Michael Gove for good measure.
Banker and Tory co-treasurer Lupton was drafted into the Tory ranks to be their co-treasurer just this February. He has been a loyal party supporter, <a href="http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/party-finance-analysis/party-funding/party-finance-analysis-Q1-2013" target="_blank">paying out £255,000 in the first quarter of this year.</a> He's got a <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2274185/Ex-Barings-boss-control-Conservatives-general-election-fighting-fund.html" target="_blank">personal fortune of £130 million </a>and is a partner at Greenhill bank. Lupton also has a stake in Vestra Wealth, which offers clients advice on "tax-planning vehicles".
Venture capitalist guru and Aston Martin afficionado Chairman of Dawn Capital, Beecroft shot into the premier league of Tory donors in giving <a href="http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/03/adrian-beecroft-cash-for-access-donation/" target="_blank">£500,000 </a>to the party since 2006. With controversial investments in companies like quick loan firm Wonga, Beecroft was tapped by Vince Cable in 2011 to lead a government review of employment law. His conclusions? Sort out the economy by making it easier to fire people. The review's "fire at will" conclusion did go down rather awkwardly with the govenrment, who had to try not to be seem too ungrateful for his work. Cable did let the side down though in branding Beecroft's work "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/05/21/vince-cable-slams-labour-_n_1532368.html" target="_blank">complete nonsense"</a>.
Sir Anthony Bamford
JCB construction equipment mogul Businessmen don't come bigger than Sir Anthony Bamford, boss of digger manufacturers JCB. He's worth <a href="http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/4-3-sir-anthony-bamford-3964626" target="_blank">£1.2 billion</a> and knows how to flaunt it. A collector of vintage Ferraris, <a href="http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/JCB-boss-gives-pound1m-to-Tories.htm" target="_blank">Sir Anthony donated £1m to the Tory Party before the 2010 General Election.</a> Cameron tried to recommend him for a peerage in 2010, but he withdrew his name. Sir Anthony's interest appears to have inspired a load of the Bamford brethren to come forward to offer donations. Totting up donations from the 2001 and the summer of 2010, all from Anthony Bamford, Mark Bamford, George Bamford, JCB Bamford Excavators, JCB Research, and JCB World Brands, you get to a princely sum of <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/party-funding-scandal-david-cameron-conservatives" target="_blank">£3,898,900. </a> No wonder Cameron was so keen to get him into the House of Lords - Bamford got his whole family on board to back him.
Lord Michael Ashcroft
Businessman and ex-Tory treasurer and deputy chair International businessman and jetset philanthropist Michael Ashcroft was a rather big, if problematic, donor for the Tories. Lord Ashcroft gave the Tories <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8542744.stm" target="_blank">over £4 million</a>, sinking <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ashcrofts-election-warchest-targets-marginals-1912407.html" target="_blank">millions into marginal seats</a> for the Tories' 'battleground' electoral strategy. Due to his business activities in Belize, his tax status did cause major headaches for David Cameron and ex-Tory leader William Hague. Hague had even more to worry about as <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/03/william-hague-lord-ashcroft-tax-status" target="_blank">he had recommended Ashcroft for a peerage,</a> believing that the businessman was based in the UK. Years later, Ashcroft admitted he was "non-domiciled" in the UK for tax. After a spell as Tory Deputy Chairman from 2005 to 2010, Ashcroft stepped down and penned a <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/31/minority-verdict-ashcroft-nick-boles-review" target="_blank">blistering critique of how Cameron went wrong.</a> Now he carries on in that vein as a major pollster, never shy of putting out results showing how <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/01/tory-election-chances-european-union-referendum_n_2596463.html" target="_blank">Cameron isn't doing well as PM either.</a>
Oil Baron As head of Tullow Oil, Aidan Heavey is sitting nicely on a salary of over £2.3 million. He also gave the Tories <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2359505/William-Hague-caught-calling-Labour-MP-stupid-woman-Commons-row-Tory-donations.html" target="_blank">£10,000 before the 2010 General Election.</a> The Foreign Office has been accused of leaking confidential documents to <a href="http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2294124/William-Hague-dragged-Tullow-Oil-court-row.html" target="_blank">Tullow Oil, while lobbying on their behalf in a legal dispute over tax.</a> Labour MP Cathy Jamieson asked Prime Minister David Cameron about the matter recently, saying: "Perhaps the Prime Minister could tell the House whether Mr Aidan Heavey's donations to the Conservative Party had any influence on the Foreign Secretary's intervention in his company's tax dispute?" Cameron dismissed such allegations, while William Hague seemed to be seen muttering "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/10/hague-cathy-jamieson-stupid-woman-pmq_n_3572256.html?utm_hp_ref=uk" target="_blank">stupid woman" in response.</a>
Financier and former Tory co-treasurer Multi-millionaire Cruddas made his fortune in the City at the head of CMC Markets. He grew close to the Tories, <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/very-polished-rough-diamond-peter-cruddas-joins-tory-treasury-team-2294343.html" target="_blank">donating £100,000 in the last quarter of 2010 and £50,000 </a>in the first week of the 2010 general election campaign. He got even closer, becoming their co-treasurer in 2011. It sadly ended in tears in March 2012 when the Sunday Times recorded him seemingly saying that you could get access to the Prime Minister or Chancellor for "Premier League" donations of between £100,000-£250,000. Despite resigning from his post as co-treasurer, Cruddas remained valiant and <a href="http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/sunday-times-wins-court-appeal-ruling-meaning-peter-cruddas-generals-hire-legal-fight-can-go-trial" target="_blank">sued the Sunday TImes alleging libel.</a>
Spread-betting mogul After making a fortune at the head of spread-betting firm IG Index, Wheeler had many millions sloshing around. He says he was worth £90m although the Sunday Times valued him at £40m. He made sure to put his money to use, at <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1123184.stm" target="_blank">one point giving the Tories £5m in a single donation.</a> Wheeler knows he was a big-hitter in the Tory ranks, once <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/party-funding-scandal-david-cameron-conservatives" target="_blank">boasting to MPs that</a> "a party is going to take more notice of somebody who might give them lots of money than somebody who won't". The Tories' big bankroller has now taken his fat chequebook over to Nigel Farage's team, becoming <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12152655" target="_blank">UKIP Treasurer in 2011. </a>
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