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‘If AOL UK paid full VAT it could fund heart transplants’

Freeserve goes for the jugular

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Freeserve has gone for AOL UK's jugular claiming that in the last ten days the US-based ISP has avoided paying £82,000 worth of VAT - enough cash to fund four heart or lung transplant operations.

Britain's biggest French ISP has jumped on the news that the British Government is to bail out a privately-owned loss-making heart hospital in London.

While the Government and unions have clashed over using £27.5 million of taxpayers' money to rescue the London Heart Hospital, Le Freeswerve has stepped in to further its own commercial battle with rival AOL.

In a statement issued yesterday it suggests that the "loophole in the Customs and Excise guidelines that currently allows AOL to avoid paying £30 million in VAT to the UK treasury every year, roughly the amount it cost to save the London Heart Hospital," should be closed.

"Freeserve has contacted Gordon Brown and HM Customs and Excise to highlight this tax discrepancy.

"It is urging British consumers to choose ISPs that pay VAT as the money could then be used by the Treasury to fund essential services such as the troubled hospital," it said

It finishes: "Freeserve estimates that AOL has earned around £82,000 in unpaid VAT - enough money to fund four heart or lung transplants alone."

While many will view Le Freeswerve's "public relations" actions today with some dismay, it does, at least confirm that Le Freeserve will not be moving its operation outside the EU if the issue remains unresolved.

Now that Le Freeswerve has taken the moral high ground on what is such a sensitive subject, surely it is not low enough to then up-sticks, move its operation to Algeria and then refuse to pay tax. Non?

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