Thursday 26 April 2018

Google's Irish workers earn less than half of their UK colleagues


Jane O'Faherty

Google Ireland's employees earn less than half the wage of their UK counterparts, despite the fact the global search engine uses Dublin as its hub, it has been claimed.

Workers at the company's Grand Canal offices earn €94,590 on average (or £72,783), compared to around €207,884 (or £160,000) paid to their London colleagues.

However, Google's employees in the UK are generally tasked with supporting the work of the company's Irish team.

The figures are from the group's latest accounts, which were revealed ahead of a UK Parliament Public Accounts Committee meeting this week.

Meanwhile, Google Ireland's three directors were paid a combined sum of €1.64m (or £1.265) in 2014.

This is despite the fact that the business has sales of €18.3bn, which makes up one-third of the company's global sales.

It comes as Google faces tough questions from the UK's Public Accounts Committee in relation to its controversial tax arrangements in Ireland.

The organisation had promised on a number of occasions that it would close those arrangements down.

It is thought that the relationships between the sales teams of Google's Dublin and London bases will form a key part of the committee's grilling.

Google Ireland booked £5bn worth of sales from UK advertisers in 2015, but it paid no tax in Britain.

The company's controversial corporate structure means the UK subsidiary provides marketing services to Google Ireland, and UK customers buy advertising exclusively from the Irish company.

Matt Brittin, Google's European sales chief, told members of the UK parliament four years ago: "Anybody who buys advertising from us in Europe buys from Google in Ireland from our expert team."

Mr Brittin is expected to address the committee for a fourth time on Thursday.

MPs will be asking why a new UK diverted-profits tax, which aimed to stop companies diverting their profits away from the UK, has not ended Google's practice of routing UK sales through Ireland.

Google said: "Governments make tax law, the tax authorities enforce the law and Google complies with the law."

Irish Independent

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