The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for the rollout of Universal Credit to be halted, saying it has left people worse off. Justin Welby received a standing ovation at the TUC Congress in Manchester when he attacked the benefits system, said the living wage should be higher and criticised firms like Amazon for paying ‘almost nothing’ in taxes.

Miles Dean commented:

“The Archbishop would be advised to stay out of politics and stick to religion unless he has anything of merit to add to the tax debate. He, like many others, picks on Amazon because it is an easy target.

“The Archbishop glibly states that companies like Amazon pay almost nothing in tax. This is simply not true. Either he is wilfully blind to the arrangements of Amazon and the fact that it pays significant tax globally – not just corporation tax but income tax and social security contributions – or he’s ignorant. In either case, he would do well to conduct a modicum of research before diving into a subject on which he is evidently ill-informed.

“The international consensus is that there is no easy way to change the tax system so that online businesses like Amazon pay tax in the countries where their customers are based. Anyone involved knows the extent to which the OECD countries have sought to find a solution that is workable.

“Standing alongside the likes of John McDonnell and trotting out Labour Party sound bites in this manner is a dangerous and inappropriately partisan position for the Archbishop to adopt.”

Read Miles’ comments in The Times