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A Google Boss Just Said He Doesn't Know How Much He Gets Paid

Senior executive Matt Brittin said: "I don't have the figure."

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A senior Google executive has been ridiculed for claiming that he doesn't know what he gets paid.

Matt Brittin, Google's president for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, told MPs: "I don't have the figure."

He was being grilled by the Commons public accounts committee over the web giant having paid just £130 million in back taxes to the UK over a decade.

Brittin confirmed to Labour MP Meg Hillier, who was chairing the committee, that Google's revenues in Britain totalled £1.18 billion in the last 18 months alone.

Hillier asked him: "Do you hear the anger and frustration out there that with these huge figures, you settled for a figure of £130 million? ... What do you get paid, Mr Brittin?"

She repeatedly demanded to know his salary, but Brittin avoided the question. "I don't have the figure," he said. "I'll happily provide it to the committee."

Hillier hit back: "You don't know what you get paid, Mr Brittin? Perhaps you could give us a ballpark?"

She told him: "Out there, taxpayers, our constituents, are very angry, they live in a different world clearly to the world you live in, if you can't even tell us what you are paid.

"It seems a bit of a PR disaster if you didn't have the nous to realise in the same week that taxpayers were filing their tax returns, and sweating over a little bit of bank interest and getting it in on time, and you announce this as a good deal."

Brittin insisted: "I understand the anger and understand that people, when they see reported that we are paying 3% tax, would be angry. But we're not. We're paying 20% tax."

He claimed the £130 million figure was "the conclusion of a six-year rigorous, independent tax audit in which we are paying tax at 20% like every other UK company".

Brittin was being grilled alongside Tom Hutchinson, vice president of Google Inc, at the committee on Thursday.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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