Water company clarifies claims

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Bosses at Anglian Water have hit out at ‘misleading’ claims in the national media that it has paid no corporation tax on its profits.

They stressed that their payments have been deferred by the Government and the UK’s tax regime to allow them to invest £2.3 billion in the region’s water infrastructure.

It follows reports in the Daily Mail earlier this week that it paid no corporation tax last year despite a turnover of £1,138 million and operating profit of £492.1 million.

A spokesman for Anglian Water clarified that while the figures are accurate they have been offered capital allowances - a form of tax relief - against the billions they pledged to invest over five years from 2010.

Their investment, which includes environmental improvements and drinking water quality enhancements, ‘helps create and secure jobs as well as support economic growth’.

The company offsets those capital allowances against its tax bill.

He said: “To be clear, we will pay our tax bill in full as part of our continuing commitment to paying our way, and to being a responsible UK company.

“As part of the way we are regulated, any temporary tax benefits we do get from deferring this payment are passed on to our customers. We use this benefit to help keep bills low, at a little more than £1 per day on average.”

The spokesman added that last year they contributed more than £150 million to the economy through taxes they pay or collect on behalf of the Government through schemes such as employers’ taxes, environmental taxes and business rates.

He said: “Media reports suggesting we haven’t fulfilled our tax obligations are misleading. For tax purposes we are registered in the UK and we pay our full tax liability in accordance with government rules.”