Austria’s chancellor has attacked Amazon and Starbucks for paying little tax in his country, saying cafes and sausage stands pay more tax than the global corporations.
Christian Kern told the Austrian newspaper Der Standard that multinational corporations pay precious little tax in Austria, adding “that goes for Starbucks, Amazon and other companies”.
He accused EU countries with low corporate tax of undermining the structure of the European Union, saying they “lack solidarity”.
“Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation,” the BBC reported Kern as saying.
He hit out at countries with low tax like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Malta, saying what they are doing “lacks solidarity towards the rest of the European economy.”
Kern praised the European Commission’s recent order that Apple must pay £11 billion more in tax to Ireland - one of the biggest tax bills ever recorded.
Apple’s enormous tax bill is the result of a three-year long investigation which looked into the way Ireland was offering tax benefits to the tech giant.
Clarifying that this decision was neither a fine, nor a penalty Commissioner Margrethe Vestager described it as simply “unpaid taxes” saying: “Member States cannot give tax benefits to selected companies – this is illegal under EU state aid rules.”