MPs have denounced multinational companies who pay little or no tax on their earnings in Britain as "immoral".
The Public Accounts Committee describes some of the evidence it heard from large corporations as "difficult to believe".
Today the Chancellor will announce that Revenue and Customs is to be given an additional £154m to investigate the tax arrangements of multinational companies.
Margaret Hodge, Labour MP and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, told John Humphrys: "We all know times are tough... it's wrong that these global companies who are making considerable profits, are getting away with paying little or no cooperation tax."
"HMRC can act more vigorously... it has got to get a grip", she added.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said that companies must pay their fair share: "There are millions of small companies, up and down this country, who pay the proper amount of tax... At a time of economic pressure, a time of austerity, it is vitally important that everyone pays the right amount of tax."
"If everyone else paid the right amount of tax, then the rest of us could pay a little bit less."
"We have to ask the wealthy to pay more," he said.
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