Tax Row: McDonald's Calls For Review Of Law

The chief executive of McDonald's in the UK has said Britain's corporation tax rules need to be addressed.

Speaking on Jeff Randall's Christmas Dinner, Jill McDonald warned that the continuing row over the amount of corporation tax companies pay could create a negative image of British business.

"Customers, consumers, want businesses to be doing the right thing," she said.

"I think it is politicians who are creating the laws who need to address and look at those."

She added: "I do think that it's in danger of spinning a little bit out of control because you don't want the conversation to be so negative about business ... because, as we know, business is ultimately what's important to help Britain grow again."

She made her comments after a number of companies – including Starbucks, Google and Amazon - were heavily criticised by politicians and campaigners over their tax affairs.

McDonald's, which employs over 90,000 people in the UK, paid £42m in UK corporation tax last year, which Ms McDonald defended as “fair”.

"One man's efficient tax planning though is another's tax avoidance so the law does need to be looked at," she said.

"But in McDonald's for example we pay what we would consider to be our fair share of corporation tax."

Paul Walsh, the chief executive of Diageo which has Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker among its brands, told Jeff Randall that tax is a complex issue for a global company.

Only 7% of Diageo's total sales were in the UK last year but the company - which is the world's biggest spirits company - paid more than a billion pounds in tax globally.

"I think we run the risk of getting into the debate of ‘If you pay tax, everything's fine’," he said.

"What about the company that's investing billions and will get appropriate tax losses and capital allowances?

"They're creating a lot of jobs so be very careful that we don't suddenly get so simplified in our approach that it conspires against what this nation is trying to do - create jobs. "

:: Jeff Randall's Christmas Dinner on Sky News is repeated over the festive period. It is also available on Sky On Demand and the Sky News for iPad App.