Matt Brittin has been fiercely criticised in a Select Committee hearing after MPs asked for his pay, saying that “I’ll happily disclose that if it’s a relative matter for the committee”. After being told that it was an matter for the committee Brittin claimed that he didn’t know how much he was paid.
Brittin’s comments have risked appearing inflammatory after it was thought he would bring some clarity to the news of how much tax Google are paying in the UK. Meg Hillier, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee said:
“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.
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”.
Brittin refused to clarify his pay despite being asked and Hillier said “you don’t know what you get paid, Mr Brittin?” with the Google boss struggling to give even an approximate figure. Brittin’s performance may now lead to further investigations into Google’s tax arrangements although the company said that it always pays the correct tax in every country in which it operates.