Google's 2,300 employees in the UK were paid an average of £160,000 ($229,918) in 2015. The figure contradicts the company's claim that its UK branch was relatively small compared to its US headquarters and expanded global operations.
Margaret Hodge, former head of the Public Accounts committee, claimed that the figure itself proves Google's UK operations are more valuable to the company in the overall scheme of things. She said: "[Google UK] is not a back office support operation. These are clearly people who are paid a lot because they add value – selling advertising, closing deals and developing new products."
The average salary of the UK staff has been made public following Google's recent tax troubles in the country. The company has been accused of sending nearly £4.6bn of UK sales related funds via an EU-wide maze of operations and accounts, to countries such as Bermuda, to pay less tax in England, the Guardian reported.
The UK tax authorities, who have been criticised for quite some time now, have come under the spotlight for accepting Google's claims that its UK employees were restricted from doing business with British advertisers, the report said. Last week, the UK government reached a £130m deal with Google, providing further fodder to critics in challenging the HMRC to allow Google to go unchallenged on its alleged tax-evasive business practices.
Barney Jones, a tax whistleblower who worked for Google's UK sales department, was quoted as saying: "Britain was a key player in generating sales for the tech firm's global operations. They do a lot of high-value sales, marketing and engineering – all out of London. I find it utterly baffling that HMRC accept[s] that these people do almost nothing worthwhile."