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Multinational organisations should be forced to publish one simple figure for how much corporation tax they pay in the UK, Ed Miliband has said.

The Labour leader said making finances more transparent would help the public judge whether companies were behaving in a responsible way. The party is also reviewing the whole system of corporation tax to see if loopholes can be closed.

The pledges follow heavy criticism of a number of big firms, such as coffee chain Starbucks and online retailer Amazon, for using dubious tactics to minimise their corporation tax bills.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Mr Miliband said: "We've got to take action on tax avoidance in this country.

"We've got a situation where many British companies and many individuals are paying their fair share of tax and they look in horror at a system where some multinational companies from other countries can make huge profits in Britain and not pay taxes in Britain.

"This is scandalous. It's got to change; the next Labour government will change it. We'll end the tax secrecy because we can't have a situation where we don't know how much tax people are paying against how much profit they're making.

"It's wrong and frankly it's an insult to hard-working taxpayers in this country."

Mr Miliband said David Cameron had spoken about international action to crack down on corporate tax avoidance, but insisted there were steps that could be taken alone.


"He's got to push for greater transparency internationally, of course that's the right thing to do," he said. "But he's also got to say that if it doesn't happen internationally we will make sure, working with business, that it happens here at home."

Mr Miliband said Labour's policy review would be looking at the rules on how companies can distribute their profits internationally. "There are other countries like Denmark that have a much tougher approach, our policy review is going to be looking at those examples and making sure that we act," he added.

The Press Association, photo by Labour