Unilever chief caught up in tax row

Daily Mail - - Travel Mail -

THE boss be­hind Unilever’s plot to ditch Bri­tain is a tax res­i­dent in Switzer­land.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Pol­man, who spear­headed a failed at­tempt to axe the Mar­mite maker’s UK head­quar­ters and base it solely in the Nether­lands, has lived in Switzer­land for 20 years and the coun­try is his tax base. Unilever re­vealed the 62-year-old’s sta­tus in a state­ment last night. It in­sisted that he pays taxes on his in­come from the com­pany in Hol­land and the UK.

How­ever, Unilever re­fused to say ex­actly how much tax he paid on his huge earn­ings and where.

Pol­man was paid £10.2m last year alone, tak­ing his earn­ings since he started the Unilever job in 2009 to £62.7m.

There is no sug­ges­tion that Pol­man has bro­ken any laws. But Alex Cob­ham, of the Tax Jus­tice Net­work, said: ‘I would hope that he and the com­pany are liv­ing by their words about so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. The way to show that would be by be­ing trans­par­ent.’ A Unilever spokesman said: ‘Pol­man is tax res­i­dent in Switzer­land, where he has lived for nearly 20 years, and there­fore pays a por­tion of his taxes in Switzer­land. Hav­ing joined Unilever as chief ex­ec­u­tive in 2009, he also pays taxes in the UK and the Nether­lands with re­spect to his board roles and em­ploy­ment with Unilever.’

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