by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Is Npower the new Starbucks? At the same time as hiking our energy bills, Npower are using accounting tricks to dodge paying their fair share of tax in the UK. On April 16, 2013 it was revealed that they have not paid a single penny in corporation tax for the last three years!
But now that this is out in the open, Npower are vulnerable and just like the PR disaster this issue was for Starbucks when their tax affairs were exposed in later 2012 so it could be for Npower. And just like with Starbucks it could cost them their customers and should.
But this is just one of the shenanigans this company engages in. it also cons the public with their sales pitch where the company claimed to be an wholly British company and one that is green.
As I personally pointed out, in front of many potential customers on a consumer fair to one of the salesmen, the claim is false as the company of wholly owned by RWE AG, formerly Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk AG, as German company and one that had, at that time, the greatest number of German nuclear power stations. I asked the sales rep since when RWE, their parent company, was British and he was totally lost and tried to continue with his spiel.
RWE also owned Thames Water and many other utilities worldwide. RWE produced in 2007 electricity from the following sources: 32.9% hard coal, 35.2% lignite, 1.1% pumped storage, 2.4% renewables, 13.6% gas and 14.9% Nuclear power, with lignite, which is referred to in German as Braunkohle, being one of the dirtiest fossil fuels on the market.
As far as the tax scam is concerned NPower’s accounting scam works like this: they are turning UK operating profits into accounting and tax losses by making large "interest payments" to other parts of their own business, based overseas. This is currently legal, unfortunately and the people must push the government to close this blatant loophole.
They make those "interest payments" in the main, more than likely though this would require further investigation, to their parent company in Germany, and thus they are not liable for tax in the UK.
But not only their tax and accounting scams need to be stopped. Also the miss-selling of their services to unsuspecting punters needs to be nipped in the bud and they need to have the knuckles wrapped over this.
In fact, it is time that the utilities, electricity generation, gas, water, etc., be brought back into British hands, and best the way it was; back into the hands of the country itself. Such vital services should never ever be allowed to be owned by foreign companies and investors.
Powergen, now E-on, also makes false sales claims stating to be a British-owned company, which it is neither. Powergen, which took the name of its parent, E-on, is a wholly-German owned company and it would appear that most of the utility companies in the UK which are owned by foreigners, bar EDF (Électricité de France S.A.) who are open about being French, claim that they are British. Time the people spoke up and told them to come clean, and that in more than one aspect.
We have the power to change the system...