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Peel Group defends MediaCity tax jibe

A Manx-based entrepreneur’s giant property group has found itself on the sharp end of an MP’s criticism over tax.

The Peel Group, chaired by John Whittaker of Ballasalla, was accused of tax-dodging by Public Accounts Commitee chair Margaret Hodge.

Her comments were made on Monday, as the committee took evidence from top BBC executives about the corporation’s move to Salford’s MediaCity.

Mrs Hodge accused Peel Group, Mediacity’s owner, of being a virtual monopoly, saying some parts of the firm pay no tax at all.

She said the BBC should have tried to find a company that paid more tax, claiming Peel doesn’t pay its fair share. Mrs Hodge  told the committee companies in the group pay an average of 10 per cent corporation tax and its more profitable arms pay nothing because they’re not based in the UK.

The Peel Group defended itself after the hearing, saying it hadn’t been asked to supply any evidence to the committee.

It rejected any assertion it’s not paying its fair share of corporation tax and said all of its operating businesses, including MediaCity owner Peel Media are UK domiciled and pay the appropriate level of tax.

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