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Google boss admits he doesn’t know his own salary…during tax inquest


Salary? What's that?

Some of us might not know our salaries down to the decimal, but this Google exec’s memory seems to be fuzzier than most.

A senior Google chief has admitted to having no idea what his own salary is.

Matt Brittin, who heads up Google’s European operations, told MPs that he was unable to disclose his wage because he didn’t actually know it.

Check it out:

The Google boss was appearing before the public accounts committee in the House of Commons amid allegations that the company pays a paltry 3% tax rate.

Brittin was pressed over his salary, to which he replied: “If that’s relevant, I’ll happily disclose that to the committee.”

However, committee chair Meg Hillier continued the probe, until the Google Europe president eventually admitted ignorance.

“You don’t know what you get paid, Mr Brittin?” said Hillier, adding: “Out there, 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.”

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Google is currently under fire after the company agreed to pay £130 million in back taxes owed to the UK.

Critics say the sum is not enough, but UK chancellor George Osborne claims the settlement deal is a victory.

“It seems a bit of a PR disaster if you didn’t have the nous to realise in the same week that taxpayers were filing their tax returns, and sweating over a little bit of bank interest and getting it in on time, and you announce this as a good deal,” added Hillier.

Do you think Brittin really didn’t know his own salary? Let us know in the comments.


February 11, 2016, 5:20 pm

The pig wanted to prove she was a bitch! She succeeded!

He was correct, it's not relevant, hope he gets a rise now.

Alex Mason

February 12, 2016, 10:41 am

Why are the government calling this a victory? Its their own over complicated tax rules that allows the loop holes the likes of Google can exploit. If they want big corps to pay more tax, they know what to do..... close the loop holes. Clearly, that is far too much like hard work, or far too logical. Two attributes our leaders do not possess.


February 12, 2016, 3:09 pm

Of course it is relevant. Google's argument is that all the value is created by departments outside the UK. The UK basically resells the services, but the true creation of economic value is overseas. Hence they justify transfer pricing arrangements which take all the profit out of UK-generated revenue and place it overseas, beyond our taxman's grasp.
But that argument falls apart if it transpires that people in charge of Google UK are paid embarrassingly large amounts. After all, if they are not responsible for adding any value, just a bunch of administrators following a script, why would they be worth such a huge pay cheque?


February 12, 2016, 3:46 pm

Too convoluted.
She lost sight of the issues they can fairly nail failings in the UK tax arrangements, the secrecy in this deal for instance, among others.
All she wanted was a 'get a load of me' class warrior moment, no one is wiser and she's still a pig.


February 12, 2016, 4:23 pm

What's convoluted? Taking corporation tax at 20%, and with a tax bill of just 36Million per year over the previous 5 years, this guy is in charge of an operation returning just £130M per year in profit, allegedly.If it turns out his and his team's annual pay is the bigger part of that figure then I think we know they are lying about the true value of the operation.
You seem to have some personal sexist axe to grind instead. I don't see how calling the woman by playground names makes your case.


February 12, 2016, 7:19 pm

What's convoluted?
Your imagination for a start.

There was an easy opportunity to clarify the circumstances of this tax arrangement, see Alex Mason's comment above, but she brilliantly diverted attention to a very minor aspect, yes, despite your assertion, his salary is not particularly relevant.

Your accusations of personal sexist axe grinding are merely abusive desperation.
I hated her behaviour not her gender.


February 13, 2016, 11:56 pm

Frankly, I'm still on board with Google leaving Europe. Let them have Bing. Europe is a dead market anyways, and just a pain in the ass. Sorry, US corporations don't exist to support your social programs. Taxes are usually justified by "you pay X, so we can provide you with services Y, as your goverment". Not really sure any Euro government has crap to offer Google. Roads? The BBC? Frankly, without Google, I'm not certain how many European businesses would survive the global economy... hmm, who's providing the Y services again?

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