Anglian Water hits back over corporation tax claims
A water company serving Lincolnshire has hit back at criticism over tax payments.
Anglian Water, which has a £1.138 billion turnover and £492.1 million operating profit, paid no corporation tax on its profits in 2011/12.
Managing director of Anglian Water, Peter Simpson, was paid a £300,000 basic salary, plus more than double that figure in bonuses.
The firm, which has a call centre in Lincoln, paid £500,000 in corporation tax in 2010/2011 and £1.4 million in 2009/2010.
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The news comes as bosses at huge corporations including Starbucks, Google and Amazon are accused of alleged tax avoidance.
But Anglian Water spokesman Ciaran Nelson said national media reports suggesting it has not fulfilled its tax obligations are misleading.
"For tax purposes we are registered in the UK, and we pay our full tax liability in accordance with Government rules," he said.
"Last year we contributed over £150 million to the economy through taxes we pay or collect on behalf of the government, made up of things like employers' taxes, environmental taxes, business rates and fuel duty, amongst many others.
"We employ almost 4,000 people, and are spending £2.3 billion on the region's water infrastructure between 2010 and 2015, which helps create and secure jobs as well as support economic growth.
"We will pay our tax on this in full, but the Government and the UK's tax regime allow us to defer some tax payments for a period to encourage us to invest as much as we can afford at such an important time for the economy.
"As part of the way we are regulated, any temporary tax benefits we do get from deferring this payment are passed on to our customers.
"We use this benefit to help keep bills low, at a little more than £1 per day on average.
"To be clear, we will pay our tax bill in full."
Anglian Water issued a £1.609 billion loan to a subsidiary company – a tax haven – in the Cayman Islands in 2002. This year, it paid £478.1 million in equity dividends to investors.
Anglian Water customer Jean Turner, 72, of Louth Road, Wragby, questioned exactly how the public benefits.
"Leaks spring up all over the place and it seems like weeks before anything is done," she said.