Posts Tagged ‘Arcadia’

UK Uncut Brighton – Sir Philip Green’s Christmas Payday

December 21, 2010
BHS banner drop Brighton

BHS banner drop Brighton

Last Saturday, the busiest shopping weekend of the year, UK Uncut successfully shut down tax dodgers across the country. One such location was Brighton.

Two Santas got arrested for superglueing to Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia stores in Brighton. BHS, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and the whole of Churchill Square shopping centre was closed for parts of the day. Activists on the roof dropped a huge “Stop Tax Dodgers” banner and the police arrived in disproportionate numbers. Even if you don’t believe in Santa, this can’t have been the Christmas you had in mind…

Sir Philip Green avoided £285m in UK income tax by paying his wife a £1.2billion dividend in 2005 and is now employed as the Governments “efficiency” adviser, ie advises on cutting public services.

Also see

Santa glues himself to BHS before being arrested

Tax dodgers shut down again

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

Shop a Scrounger

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

December 12, 2010
Phil Pays No Tax

Phil Pays No Tax

You would be sent to prison if you claimed all your British wages ‘really’ belonged to your wife in a foreign tax haven and refused to pay any tax on it. But not Philip Green. You would be sent to prison if you claimed a massive chunk of your income ran through a post office box in Luxembourg and refused to pay any tax on it. But not Vodafone.

UK Uncut is standing up for the 99.99 percent of British people who pay our taxes – and are disgusted to see that super-rich billionaires don’t. They are being allowed to pay nothing, by both the Tories and before them New Labour.

The new government claims our national debt requires a massive program of cuts. In reality, our national debt has been higher for almost all of our history since 1750. But even if the debt was a reason to panic, almost all the savings they claim are necessary can be found simply from making the super-rich pay the £25bn in taxes they legally owe and are currently dodging. Instead, David Cameron and his tax-dodging chancellor George Osborne are choosing to make you pay – even though you did nothing to cause this crisis.

We are the overwhelming majority. Some 77 percent of us want to crack down on tax dodging hard. Let the politicians who sneer at this campaign – from Labour’s Tom Harris MP to the Tory Tim Montgomerie – make their case. They will be loathed by their constituents for siding with Philip Green and Vodafone and the army of tax-dodgers over their own electorate. Let’s amplify their voices: people should know who is letting this happen, and how feeble their excuses are.

But for now, let’s just deal with one of the arguments the defenders of tax-dodging offer. Philip Green works hard, shows entrepreneurial flair, and earns his money by himself, they say, so what right do we have to ask him to pay money to us?

I’d like, for one year, in one branch of Top Shop, to test that idea. It’s a simple experiment. For twelve months, we’ll deny any publicly funded services to that store. When the rubbish piles up, we won’t send bin-men to collect it. When the rat outbreak begins, we won’t send pest control. When they catch a shoplifter, we won’t send the police. When there’s a fire, we won’t send the fire brigade. When the suppliers want to get their goods to the store, there may be a problem: we won’t maintain the roads any more. When the staff get sick, we won’t treat them in the NHS. When you interview for new staff, you’ll find they can’t read, because you can only choose people who have not received any state education.

Then come back to us after that year, Philip Green, and tell us you do it all yourself, and don’t owe anything to us. Taxes are the membership dues for a civilised society – and we’re going to make you pay.

Originally posted as a guest blog on UK Uncut by Johann Hari (twitter), columnist for The Independent newspaper.

The Budget Deficit is not as large as the ConDem Coalition would like us to believe. We are not staring into the abyss. Yes, it should be reduced, but at a rate the economy can cope with. The alleged Budget Deficit is being used as an excuse for slash and burn of public services.

Were tax dodgers like Sir Philip Green (owner of Arcadia Group which owns Topshop), Vodafone, Boots, SABMiller (owners of Grolsch) to pay their taxes, there would be no Budget Deficit.

Were tax dodgers like Sir Philip Green (owner of Arcadia Group which owns Topshop), Vodafone, Boots, SABMiller (owners of Grolsch) to pay their taxes, there would have been no need to have trippled student fees, to slash university teaching grants by 80%, to take away from the poorest students their Educational Maintance Grant of £30 a week (probably less than a millionaire Cabinet Members spends on lunch).

Sir Philip Green, billionaire boss of Arcadia, who owns Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge among others. Arcadia is owned by Taveta Investments Limited, which is registered to an office on the tax-haven island of Jersey. Taveta Investments is owned by Green’s family members living in Monaco, where income tax is 0%. It’s estimated Green avoided paying £285 million in tax in 2005 alone.

Nor can it be claimed that it is the hard work of Sir Philip Green that has earned him this money. It is the hard work of the wage slaves who work in his stores, many of them students trying to make ends meet.

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill, a tax bill which if paid would mean the £7 billion welfare cuts would have not been necessary.

websites

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

Shop a Scrounger

What we’re arguing against and what we’re fighting for

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

A sad day for democracy

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

Why cuts are the wrong cure

Grolsch tax avoidance

Grateful Vodafone executives say a big thank you to Chancellor George Osborne

Nationwide shut down of Vodafone stores

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill

Shop a Scrounger

December 4, 2010

What do Topshop (Sir Philip Green Arcadia Group), Vodafone, SABMiller (brewers of Grolsch), Boots, Barclays and now Cadbury’s, all have in common? They all dodge their taxes.

We all pay our taxes. We may not like it, but it is part of our civic duty, part of our obligation to the Big Society. But not it seems if we are big enough. If we are big enough or rich enough, we get away with paying little or no tax.

The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be demonised, to be called a scrounger. A whole army of informers and investigators has been enlisted to target these people, shop a scrounger we are told in government media campaigns.

But who are these scroungers? The single Mum who puts in a few hours down the pub to make ends meet, the extra bit of cash-in-hand that makes the difference between her kids having new clothes or not.

A pensioner unable to pay his or her Council Tax is thrown into prison. A small business struggling to meet the tax demand will be put out of business. But if you are rich enough or big enough you pay little or no tax.

It was the greedy bankers who got the economy into a mess. And who bailed them out? The long-suffering taxpayers. And who makes up the shortfall? The poor and disadvantaged by having their welfare cut.

The tax that is not being paid has been calculated to be twice that of the budget deficit. That is if those who did not pay their taxes were forced to do so, not only would there be no need for cuts in public spending, there would be money to spend on railways, on insulating homes, on developing new greener technologies, on providing a national fast broadband infrastructure, on paying students to go to university, for more nurses and teachers, for repair of crumbling schools, for sports facilities for all.

Wealthy people and corporations avoiding and evading tax cost the UK £120 billion per year. That’s enough to cancel out the spending cuts twice over between now and 2014. By contrast, estimated cost of people over-claiming benefits costs the government £1 billion per year – roughly equal to the amount of tax dodged by Barclays Bank alone.

Who are the real scroungers?

Vodafone were let off a £6 billion tax bill. Their financial director just happens to be advisor to the Chancellor on corporate tax.

SABMiller pay less tax in Ghana than a local stall at the market. The tax they do not pay means kids do not go to school.

Barclays have complex tax avoidance schemes in place that make money out of nothing. Money that you and I pay for for with lost tax revenue.

Boots head office is a PO Box in Switzerland. Boots is owned by a hedge fund.

Cadbury’s, now American owned, a buyout financed by taxpayer-owned RBS, looks set to follow the example of Boots.

Sir Philip Green (owner of Arcadia, owner of Topshop) avoided £300 million on his £1.2 billion dividend payout by paying it through his wife who is resident in Monaco. Green is government adviser on cutting waste, ie code for public spending cuts.

Today Topshop stores across the country were shut down in protest. In London, Topshop security thugs attacked protesters in full view of police witnesses. Will the police be bringing charges for these assaults?

And the media? To their credit, the Mail Online had excellent coverage, but from the BBC during the day a deathly silence. No mention on the BBC Radio 4 lunchtime news, but did manage to mention that a bicycle thief had been apprehended through the trail he left in the snow. What then of their flagship PM news slot at 5pm? Er nothing. Out of a half hour prime early evening news, almost 15 minutes on Spanish air traffic controllers strikes (including sob story of stranded Brits) and tut tut Fifa not awarding World Cup football to England, several minutes on Oprah Winfrey taking her show to Sydney in Australia, several minutes on Asil Nadir allegedly breaching his bail conditions, a few second mention of climate protesters on the streets of London (blink and you would have missed it) but absolutely zilch on concerned citizens shutting down Topshop stores and the scandal of tax avoidance by the likes of Sir Philip Green and the implications it has for all of us in loss of public services. But there was coverage on the BBC Radio 4 6pm news. Channel 4 News once again put BBC to shame.

websites

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

Why cuts are the wrong cure

How SAB Miller escapes tax in developing countries

Grolsch tax avoidance

Mayhem in Oxford St as protesters target stores including Topshop’s flagship branch over firms avoiding tax bills

Tax protests: at last people have a way to express their anger

Cadbury’s secret Swiss move will cost UK exchequer millions in tax

Topshop’s flagship London store hit by tax protest

The day the teenagers turned on Topshop

Haringey Vodafone unpaid tax protest

Grateful Vodafone executives say a big thank you to Chancellor George Osborne

Nationwide shut down of Vodafone stores

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill

Cadbury goes Swiss to avoid British tax: Move by U.S. bosses will cost Treasury £60 million a year

UK Uncut targets Topshop and Vodafone over tax arrangements


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