Lobbyists targeted by protesters PDF Print E-mail

8 December 2011

As demonstrators shut down Washington's K Street, the historic home of the US lobbying industry, new research from the US shows how corporations are paying more for lobbyists than they are in taxes. The report by Public Campaign finds, for example, that General Electric — one of the top 10 most profitable companies in the world — got a net tax rebate of $4.7 billion between 2008 and 2010. Meanwhile, it spent $84 million lobbying Washington. 

At the moment, we have no comparable figures for companies in the UK. Unlike their US colleagues, lobbyists in Britain aren't forced to make public who they are lobbying in government, which areas of policy they are seeking to influence, and crucially, how much money they are spending in the process.

People aren't yet protesting outside the London offices of the UK's major lobbying firms, but public demands for the Coalition government to finally introduce its proposed compulsory register of lobbyists are getting much louder.