LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is due to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday as a participant of an advisory group just days after UK lawmakers lambasted the Internet company’s tax affairs.
The meeting is a routine one and has been long-planned, will include other high-profile business people, and tax evasion is not on the agenda, a government source told Reuters.
Google faced angry questions on Thursday from British lawmakers investigating its tax affairs over whether it had misled parliament in testimony last year, adding fuel to a debate on taxation that has risen to the top of Britain’s political agenda.
Google’s Northern Europe boss, Matt Brittin, was called back to testify to parliament’s Public Accounts Committee after a Reuters investigation showed the company employed staff in sales roles in London, even though he had told the committee in November its British staff were not “selling” to UK clients.
Prominent parliamentarians have questioned Schmidt’s continued status as a member of Cameron’s Business Advisory Group given what some of them have classed as his company’s “amoral” attitude towards paying tax.
The group meets quarterly to give Cameron high level advice on critical business and economic matters facing Britain.
Reporting by Andrew Osborn and William James; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge