ALISTAIR Darling and Gordon Brown filled the Chancellor of the Exchequer's job for a total of 13 years.

We know they were asleep on their watch in relation to banking. We could see that they were enthusiastic about making London the preferred refuge for the ultra-wealthy and were "relaxed" about their tax avoidance. But the public didn't realise just how extreme was the level of corporate tax avoidance by multi-national companies ("Corporate giants facing Treasury tax crackdown", The Herald, December 3). What were Mr Brown and Mr Darling doing during all those years to increase tax yields and ensure a level playing field for local companies? They were guilty of gross incompetence. It's not as if a company like Starbucks has created new jobs in any real sense. If it wasn't there, there would be plenty of other businesses capable of selling coffee.

We need a wider debate on corporate taxation. The tax authorities should have a fall-back power to use a percentage of turnover as the basis for tax liability for global corporations and companies using tax havens if there are indications of avoidance.

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Isobel Lindsay,

9 Knocklea Place, Biggar.

IT is refreshing to hear that the Government intends to pursue those corporations and individuals who currently avoid paying their fair share of tax; it's a shame that it has taken a cataclysmic financial crisis for it to acknowledge the systematic abuse inherent in the system. I am tempted to say I will believe it when I see it, as it is not unheard of for the Government to say what it thinks the electorate wants to hear and then not to do anything. The question we should all be asking is why successive administrations have failed to address this glaring anomaly previously as the answer demonstrates the true lack of democracy in the UK. One cannot think of one administration of any political persuasion that has ever displayed reluctance to extract taxes from the vast majority of us who are saddled with PAYE.

David J Crawford,

Flat 3/3 131 Shuna Street, Glasgow.

ONCE again the Herald's Steven Camley (December 3) encapsulates the day's headline with a cutting comment on the apparent tax-avoidance behaviour of Messrs Starbucks, Amazon and Google. The four little words used as caption, "we bring absolutely nothing", state succinctly the views already held by many on this subject.

In journalistic terms "Hark the Herald Angle's View" would be justly earned.

Allan C Steele,

22 Forres Avenue, Giffnock.