Google boss accused of being on a 'Different Planet' during UK tax probe includng sales booked in Dublin

The company's agreement with the UK will allow it to continue to route sales through its Dublin office

Google boss accused of being on a 'Different Planet' during UK tax probe includng sales booked in Dublin

Yui Mok / PA

A top Google executive has told MPs that he understands public anger over the search giant's tax affairs, but says it pays the same tax rate as any other UK company.

Much of the revenue generated by Google in the UK is routed through the company's Dublin office, reducing its tax bill. 

The president of Google Europe, Matt Brittin, was being questioned by the influential Public Accounts Committee.

Chairwoman Meg Hillier said that Mr Brittin must have "tin ears" if he did not understand why taxpayers were angered by the firm's £130m tax settlement for 10 years of UK operations.

She said: "We are here for the taxpayers in Britain. Do you hear the anger and frustration out there that with these huge figures, you settled for a figure of £130 million? You're living on a different planet to most of our constituents."

He replied: "I understand the anger and understand that people, when they see reported that we are paying 3% tax, would be angry. But we're not. We're paying 20% tax."

She also repeatedly demanded to know what he was personally paid, but he replied: "I don't have the figure but I will happily provide it."

Ms Hillier responded: "You don't know what you get paid? ... Out there, taxpayers, our constituents, are very angry, they live in a different world clearly to the world you live in, if you can't even tell us what you are paid."

He confirmed that Google has made profits of £106m on revenues of £1.18bn in the UK in the last 18 months, and said 11% of the company's global sales to customers occurred in the UK.

He said the £130m figure was "the conclusion of a six-year rigorous, independent tax audit in which we are paying tax at 20% like every other UK company".

Under the tax deal, Google has agreed to pay more taxes in the in the UK, but the company will still be able to book advertising deals from the UK through its headquarters in Ireland.