UK

Google Tax Deal With Downing Street 'Posh Boys' Is 'Most Brilliant Lobbying Effort Yet', Says Murdoch

27/01/2016 17:14 GMT | Updated 27/01/2016 17:59 GMT
Evan Agostini/AP
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, Rupert Murdoch arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Murdoch, issued an apology Thursday, Oct. 8, after he faced social media backlash following his suggestion that President Barack Obama isn't a "real black president." (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, FIle)

Rupert Murdoch has hit out at David Cameron and George Osborne - deriding the pair as "posh boys" lobbied by Google executives cleverly planted in Downing street.

The News International boss warned that global tech companies would "ruin local businesses who pay" following revelations that Google would pay only £130 million in back-taxes - which critics say amounts to just a 3% tax rate.

In a series of posts on social media, Murdoch claimed the search engine giant had orchestrated the "most brilliant new lobbying effort yet" by infiltrating the corridors of power in Westminster and the White House.

He went on to call for stronger tax laws to clamp down on companies that avoid paying millions of pounds in corporation tax, but admitted that Google had not contravened statute.

Some took Murdoch's outburst at Google's extensive planting of employees in senior government offices as an opportunity to remind him of the influence his own staff wielded in close proximity to the prime minister.

The media baron's comments come just hours after one of Cameron's closest aides warned the dominance of firms like Google had led to people believing the companies are "above the law".

Steve Hilton, the prime minister's ex-director of strategy, said on Wednesday that there was growing "anger" at the behaviour of large companies.

"I think that there is a growing sense that companies that are so big and so dominant, not just in the marketplace but in the way they relate to government and their lobbying efforts and so on, that they really are above the law," he told BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme.

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