Posts Tagged ‘unpaid tax’

UK Uncut on Newsnight

February 1, 2011

Excellent BBC Two Newsnight coverage of UK Uncut tax avoidance protests.

The UK Uncut documentary included here was made for Newsnight by Fat Rat Films and the original can be viewed on Vimeo.

The comment from the guy from the Institute of Directors that if UK Corporate Tax was lower companies like Boots would not need to go offshore is unbelievable.

The ordinary working man and woman has to pay tax on the money they earn and there is nor reason why Big Business should not too. If these tax dodging businesses wish to set up shop and do business in the UK then they should expect to pay the going rate of Corporation Tax.

Since its acquisition by a hedge fund, Boots has aggressively avoided paying its fair share of tax. Why should Boots avoid paying tax because its head office is a letter box in Switzerland?

Vodafone claim its £6 billion unpaid tax is an urban myth. Why then were they being pursued through the Courts for this unpaid tax by HMRC? Why did their accounts show they set aside £2 billion to settle?

Vodafone acceded to the repressive regime in Egypt and shut down their network, giving yet another reason to shut down Vodafone shops. When the Egyptians finally take back control of their country they should seize the network from Vodafone and hand to another network operator. I suggest Grameen Bank in Bangladesh who operate the largest mobile network in Bangladesh. It can then be run as a social business for the benefit of the Egyptian people, not as a cash cow for tax dodger Vodafone.

- The messy truth of police CS spray use
A Taxing Dilemma
Tax dodger Boots turned into a field hospital
Tax dodgers shut down again
Vodafone tax protest made me smile
We are not the Topshop generation
UK Uncut Brighton – Sir Philip Green’s Christmas Payday
Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State
Shop a Scrounger
Captain SKA – Liar Liar
We are all in it together

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

Tax dodgers shut down again

December 19, 2010
My Public Library Pay Your Tax So It Can Stay Open

My Public Library Pay Your Tax So It Can Stay Open

Topshop £285 million tax dodge

Topshop £285 million tax dodge

BHS banner drop Brighton

BHS banner drop Brighton

Topshop Tunbridge Wells

Topshop Tunbridge Wells

Chant: HSBC shame on you! We pay taxes, why can’t you?

Chant: tax avoiders off our streets! Philip green, national thief, pay yourt tax or we won’t leave!

Chant: Where did all our money go? Shipped it off to Monaco!

Dear The Rich, please pay your share so we, The Poor, don’t have to lose our welfare state to prop up your banks. Thanks.

It was the last weekend before Christmas, the busiest shopping day of the year, the cash bells ringing, then came the snow. It was the last weekend before Christmas, UK Uncut had decided to target the tax dodgers, shut down as many retail stores as possible, then came the snow.

Severe weather warnings, trains not running, the airports closed, roads closed, the weather dominated the news programmes. Not a good day to shut down Vodafone, Topshop and other tax dodgers, or so I thought. Only the day before over 50 actions had been flagged up.

But I was pleased to say I was proved wrong. They came, they occupied. Across the country stores and banks were occupied and closed down.

In Covent Garden, protesters held a sleep over in HSBC in protest at housing cuts. HSBC had now been added to the list after it was revealed they had dodged £2 billion in tax. If paid there would be no need for housing cuts.

A santa from Big Society Revenue and Customs was glued to the window of Dorothy Perkins.

M&S was targeted in Hackney and Oxford Street.

Why M&S? M&S trousered £492 million in unpaid tax over the last five years, that is if they had paid tax at the existing rate of corporate tax.

This needs putting in context: it apparently costs £162 million a year to provide school sport, or about £810 million over five years. M&S could have paid for 72% of that if it had paid the full rate of UK tax on its profits or 60% if it had just settled the total tax it provided on its profit and loss account.

In normally sleepy Tunbridge Wells, despite the inclement weather, around 30 protesters turned out.

The Library Bloc was very effective. Reading books to shut down stores whilst at the same time highlighting closure of public libraries. Closures that would not be necessary were tax dodgers to pay their taxes.

Well done Anna Fleur (@magiczebras) who revised for her GCSE whilst occupying HSBC. Trade minister Stephen Green just happened to be director of HSBC whilst they dodged £2bn in tax.

Topical and brilliant, Santa protests too much when he hears his local library might close. A festive verse comedy by Ian McMillan. [BBC Radio 4, broadcast 19:00 Saturday 18 Dec 2010, repeat 17:40 Sunday 19 Dec 2010]

Vodafone’s waived tax bill could have paid for every single cut to every single council in the country this year.

Philip Green’s tax dodges could have paid for two years of sports in every school in the country.

Shame on the BBC who failed to report!

Do not the Brits have a reputation for apathy? A winge over their lukewarm beer but that is as far as it goes. But push them too far, as Hitler found, and they fight

Austerity cuts, an exagerated budget defecit being used as an excuse for application of Shock Doctrine and the resultant slash and burn of public services, the rich laughing all the way to their offshore bank accounts and the long-sufring Brits have said enough is enough.

It all started with the shutdown of the Vodafone flagship store in Oxford street on 7 October 2010 and it has taken off from there. We have seen what has become almost a regular feature of the weekend, shutdown of Vodafone stores and other tax dodgers. We have seen students take to the streets and occupation of universities not seen since the late 1960s.

And yet we have see what appears to be a media blackout.

The first most people know of these protests is when out shopping and ask what is going on. They then join in.

websites

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

UK Uncut Brighton – Sir Philip Green’s Christmas Payday

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Heavy snow and ice bring travel chaos across UK

Tax protesters step up protest against store

Press Release: ‘SANTA GLUE IN’ AS 55 ANTI-CUTS PROTESTS HIT TAX DODGERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Topshop and the solidarity of the ‘ordinary shopper’

#ukuncut actions around the country mark ‘Payday’

Big business goes on the defensive as tax protesters win the propaganda war

High street stores hit in day of action over corporate tax avoidance

Crisis? What crisis? Topshop boss enjoys Barbados holiday despite tax protestsl

Knickers to tax

Tax cheats avoiding fines when caught

From Fact to Fiction: Santa’s Sit-in

The return of the public?

The ethics of tax avoidance

Lone Protests Against Tax Avoiders

Tax justice: Back on the agenda

Vodafone tax protest made me smile

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

Shop a Scrounger

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

Tax dodging: what would Jesus do?

What would Jesus do?

Vodafone tax protest made me smile

December 12, 2010
Vodafone unpaid tax

Vodafone unpaid tax

It made me smile to see tax dodging corporation Vodafone shoot themselves in the foot.

In what could be seen as a misappropriation of Make My Day, Vodafone did just that by appropriating the twitter hashtag #mademesmile as an ill thought out marketing campaign.

The idea was you would tweet something meaningless and gibberish with the hashtag #mademesmile and the best would get a Vodafone prize.

UK Uncut had far better ideas. They made use of the hashtag #mademesmile to make it a tending topic on twitter with messages like

Captain SKA – Liar Liar http://t.co/kh4qZY5 #LiarLiar4XMASno1 #music #ukuncut #mademesmile

Tax protest turns Vodafone’s smile upside down http://t.co/VMGpJDk #mademesmile #ukuncut

Vodafone forced to pay their unpaid taxes #mademesmile #Ukuncut

Grateful Vodafone executives say a big thank you to Chancellor George Osborne http://t.co/rjqWezn #mademesmile #Ukuncut

Vodafone tax protest made me smile http://t.co/u3urQQB #ukuncut #mademesmile

Please re-tweet this messages to keep them trending.

A huge success. By trending it has alerted many more people to tax dodging by Vodafone and their unpaid £6 billion tax bill.

Now not only do we have he opportunity to shut down and occupy Vodafone stores on the High Street, thanks to the Christmas goodwill of Vodafone we can carry on the protest 24 hours a day in cyberspace!

The terms and conditions Vodafone had imposed on the competition, number 11 of 18 provide particular mirth: “Check to see if there’s any tax implication by winning a prize as you’ll be responsible for this.”

Also see

Tax protest turns Vodafone’s smile upside down

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

Brighton Uncut Vodafone Action

Nationwide shut down of Vodafone stores

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill

Shop a Scrounger

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

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

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

Brighton Uncut Vodafone Action

December 12, 2010

Protest in Brighton against Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill. One of many Vodafone store closures and occupations that are now taking place every weekend across the country and will continue to take place until Vodafone pay their £6 billion unpaid tax bill.

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.

websites

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

Vodafone tax protest made me smile

Caroline Lucas MP speaks at student fees 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

Shop a Scrounger

Sir Philip Green is Sponging Off the State

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

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

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

December 12, 2010
George Osborne

George Osborne

George Osborne thought his smokescreen was working. It looked for a while like the people of Britain were going to accept the biggest cuts to public spending seen in the Western world in a century. He had, it seemed, delivered a sleight of hand that would impress even the most slippery magician.

The trick he’s been using to great effect is, though, an old one. It works something like this: in a crisis, people panic. They accept something big has to happen to solve it. But massive crises are complex, and a global economic collapse is particularly hard to understand – we aren’t taught the basics of economic history at school, we learn that these are matters for clever men in suits who use long words.

And so what George Osborne spotted is what right wing politicians around the world have known for the last 40 years: a disaster is a great time to radically change a country. From the privatisation of New Orleans’ schools after Katrina, to the corporate plunder of Iraq after the 2003 invasion, this trick is nothing new. Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine describes in detail how it has been used the world over.

There is a big problem. People understand this might require a big solution. And so they accept policies they would never normally countenance – policies not designed to solve the problem, but to radically change society in a way no one ever voted for.

And like this sleight of hand, Osborne’s “solutions” too are nothing new. The Conservative students I studied with at university – the generation who were born under Thatcher, and are now the researchers and aids to this government – were arguing for 30% spending cuts long before the recession. And their predecessors did too – in fact, in 1910, the Conservative Party brought down the Government rather than allow the people’s budget, the foundation of the welfare state, to pass. And they have used every opportunity since to rid this country of what they see as a dangerous socialist experiment.

And this “solution” is, of course, nothing of the sort. The idea that you solve a deficit caused by unemployment by cutting jobs is economically illiterate. Don’t take it from me – look at what is being said by the world’s leading economists, including most recent Nobel prize winners: Britain is embarking on a radical economic experiment which is not only un-necessary, but probably going to make the recession worse.

But because people have been taught that economics is too complex for us, many people seem to stop listening when you try and explain why the cuts are a bad idea. And I’ve tried lots of ways:

I’ve tried explaining that the Treasury’s debt really isn’t that big: it was bigger for most of the 20th century, and, compared to the size of our economy, is one of the lowest on earth.

I’ve tried to explain that most of the debt is owed to people in the UK: our pension funds buy government bonds. If, as the Tories predict, borrowing did get more expensive, that would just mean that Britain’s pension funds would get fatter – money the Treasury could tax back.

I’ve tried pointing out that the borrowing isn’t getting more expensive, but cheaper. And this is extra-ordinary. Before the election, the excuse that they gave for cutting public spending was that they believed we’d be punished by the bond markets if we didn’t: investors wouldn’t buy government bonds. They were wrong. What has actually happened is that investors have decided that they don’t want to risk buying shares in companies which might collapse, and so they have rushed to buy government bonds. As a result, borrowing is cheaper than it’s almost ever been. The reason they gave for cutting has evaporated. They were just plain and simple wrong.

And I’ve tried explaining the multiplier effect. The way out of a recession is to invest in jobs. Once you’ve created a job, that person buys stuff and pays taxes. The Tories like to compare the national economy to a household. But, when I buy stuff in the shop, I don’t get lots of the money back in tax. And I don’t get even more back in tax when the shopkeeper buys her stock or pays her staff. And again when the staff buy things, and so on. And so the way out of the recession is to look at the real problem – unemployment – and take advantage of record cheap borrowing, by investing. As Nobel winning economist Joseph Stiglitz – former economist for both the World Bank and Bill Clinton – tells us, cutting now could well lead to higher long term debts.

I’ve pointed out that we tried this all before. Cutting spending to pay the debts of WW1 caused the great depression. Building the welfare state allowed us to build our way out of the debts left by WW2.

And I’ve reminded people that it wasn’t public spending which caused this crisis, but listening to crazy right wing ideologues like George Osborne who thought that we should shut down everything and hand our economy to the bankers.

And I’ve tried explaining that public services aren’t a cost to the economy but an investment in the civilisation which makes our economy possible. If we don’t invest in them now, we make our future economy less prosperous, and this will cost far more than our record cheap, very low debt.

And I’ve pointed out that the impending climate crisis means we urgently need to invest to create jobs building a new economy – this can’t wait, and the legacy we leave if we don’t will be unimaginable.

And I’ve tried many more arguments besides. And these arguments work – sometimes. A little discussion of why the great economists of our age think that George Osborne is either mad or bad or stupid often does leave people convinced.

But many turn off at the wiff of a discussion of economic theory. And you don’t get the chance to have that little conversation with everyone in Britain.

However, there is one more argument: one I haven’t yet mentioned, which doesn’t require so much explanation – an argument which convinces almost all who hear it. A fact so compelling that once shouted, it will echo throughout the country:

If the mega-rich who caused this crisis paid the same level of tax as you and me, we wouldn’t have a deficit.

And of course, all of these arguments are what the Labour Party would be explaining, if they were brave enough to challenge Britain’s entrenched corporate power. But they aren’t. And so, with the noble exception of our one Green MP, and a few on the Labour left, it it falls to us, the people, to make this case.

But that’s ok. It’s ok, because this is nothing new. Public services were won by social movements who shouted, and screamed, and withdrew their labour, and occupied, and built new political parties, and, yes, smashed windows. And it’s ok because the fact that they don’t teach economic history in school doesn’t mean that we don’t remember this lesson. It was our grandparents and our great grandparents who won a state pension, who invented the NHS and who built affordable council houses. That was their legacy to us.

And it’s ok because our thanks to them will be to use the technology that our parents with their state funded education invented for us, to organise a resistance to the Tories so strong that our children will never forget. Because the history of Britain is a history of ordinary people fighting the Tories to win a fair share of our country’s wealth and power.

And as UK Uncut have shown, it is not a history that our generation will soon forget. Because people are realising that George Osborne’s smoke screen stinks. And as we blow it away, we will have a chance to learn the lesson Osborne teaches us, and take the chance to work out, together, what kind of country we want to build from the ashes, and leave for our grandchildren. And, if nothing else, that’s worth fighting for.

A guest editorial posted by Adam Ramsay of Bright Green Scotland and No Shock Doctrine on UK Uncut.

websites

UK Uncut

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

Also see

A sad day for democracy

Captain SKA – Liar Liar

For Our Generation it’s the Greens or it’s Nothing

Taming the Vampire Squid: Take back our banks

Why cuts are the wrong cure

Shop a Scrounger

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

Sir Philip Green and his Topshop billions get the UK Uncut treatment

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

Topshop day of action against tax dodger Sir Philip Green

December 5, 2010
Demonstrators glue their hands to the window Topshop Brighton - Cathy Jones

Demonstrators glue their hands to the window Topshop Brighton - Cathy Jones

A more eloquent and informed group of demonstrators would be hard to come across and one is struck by the wide appeal across ages and incomes, of what they had to say. — Alex Thomson, Chief Correspondent, Channel 4 News

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 first Saturday of December, one of the busiest Christmas shopping days of the year, it was the turn of Topshop (part of the Arcadia Group of Sir Philip Green’s empire) to be shut down. The Arcadia Group includes Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Miss Selfridge.

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.

– Philip Green’s £285 million tax dodge would have paid for 13,000 new police officers
– The tax dodged by Philip Green could have paid for 20,000 NHS nurses
– To clarify the reports, Philip Green avoided £300 million on his £1.2 billion dividend payout

In the Oxford Street store in London security thugs assaulted protesters. As these assaults were witnessed by several people, including the police, I trust charges for assault will be brought and that the local authority withdraws their registration to work as security guards.

Charges for assault should also be brought against the clearly identified thugs in police uniform who attacked a female. There should be no place for thugs like this in any police force.

But well done the police who did the protesters job for them and shut down Topshop stores.

And the mainstream media? To their credit, the Mail Online had excellent coverage, but from the BBC a deathly silence during the day. No mention on the BBC Radio 4 lunchtime news, but did manage to mention that a bicycle thief had been apprehended through a 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 (and poor stranded Brits suffering) and tut tut corrupt 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. There was coverage on the BBC Radio 4 6pm news and midnight news but nothing on the main 10pm news. Brilliant coverage by Channel 4 News which once again puts BBC News to shame.

If you could not make it or there was not a protest near you there is still a lot you can do. Go into Topshop and slip a few leaflets into pockets, stick up a few posters in the changing rooms, re-arrange the clothes on the racks, take your purchases to the checkout, offer to pay when Sir Philip Green pays his taxes. But best of all, boycott Topshop!

There is a difference between style and fashion. Style is wearing what you look good in. Fashion is being manipulated into wearing what you look ridiculous in. Fashion is pointless consumerism which the planet cannot afford.

Every weekend until Christmas?

Sir Philip Green says he is doing nothing wrong, nothing illegal. Slave owners used to say something similar!

If Sir Philip Green and other corporate tax dodgers wish to trade in our country then they have to pay our taxes. Otherwise we close them down. Quite simple really.

You steal our taxes, we shut your stores!

websites

UK Uncut

Tax Justice Network

Tax Research UK Blog

False Economy

Also see

The Winner Stands Alone

Shop a Scrounger

Why cuts are the wrong cure

Round up of this weekends Tax Dodger actions

Tax protests hit Topshop, BHS, Vodafone on busy shopping day

Topshop protests over Sir Philip Green’s taxes

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

We shut down the tax dodgers’ stores – and the shoppers supported us

Topshop’s flagship London store hit by tax protest

The day the teenagers turned on Topshop

Tax protest forces closure of Topshop’s flagship branch

UK Uncut targets Topshop and Vodafone over tax arrangements

UK Uncut targets Topshop and Vodafone over tax arrangements

Sir Philip Green should pay UK tax – Vince Cable

Sheffield Vodafone and Top Shop targeted in tax dodge demo

Oxford Top Shop targeted in tax dodge demo

Oxford St Topshop Shut in #Ukuncut Action

Anti-cuts day of action in Nottingham

Sheffield Occupation and Anti-Cuts Protest

Wood Green Tax Dodgers – Topman & Boots targeted

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

Grolsch tax avoidance

December 1, 2010
schtop corporate tax avoidance

schtop corporate tax avoidance

Everyone has heard of the Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill, a tax bill which if paid would mean the £7 billion welfare cuts would not have been necessary. Well ok, few people have heard of it, not a single one I have spoken to had, which only goes to show the power of the mainstream media, power that is to protect vested interests.

Another tax avoider is SABMiller. Who, is a reasonable response? SABMiller is the owner of Grolsch (the beer in the fancy bottles) and as Action Aid has exposed, they do not pay their taxes in Africa.

How little tax? its Ghanaian brewery manages to pay less tax per year than a local firm selling its beer at a food stall! SABMiller controls more than 30% of Ghana’s beer market, yet its operating profit there is a mere 0.69% of its income. Why? Because it ensures its ‘profits’ are recorded in low tax havens. As a result of this practice, the company paid no tax to Ghana for three of the last four years – a significant loss to a country where corporate income tax accounts for £1 of every £7 in the public purse.

SABMiller would argue that what they do is not illegal, though the jury is out on that one. Whether legal or not is beside the point, it is immoral.

The money that African countries lose each year could put an extra 250,000 children in school.

We are quick and rightly so to highlight corruption of African leaders, but what of corrupt practices of Big Business that operates in those countries?

The World Bank and IMF are quick to restructure poor countries, force them into a fire sale of their assets. Why are they not so quick to deal with large companies who exploit their position? IMF and World Bank have the resources which poor countries lack to ensure these companies pay their taxes, have decent working conditions, pay fair wages etc, not as too often facilitate their exploitation.

Tax dodging costs poor countries billions each year – far more than they receive in aid. The more money poor countries can raise in taxes the less aid they will need.

Please sign the letter to SABMiller chief executive to pay their taxes. Add to the letter you will be encouraging everyone to stop drinking their lager.

Please pass the word. Post on facebook, re-tweet, e-mail to friends.

Back in the UK, Top Shop has been added by UK Uncut to Vodafone as a major avoider of tax. Like Vodafone, their shops are now legitimate targets to be occupied. Is it not a bit rich that billionaire tax dodger Sir Philip Green (owner of Arcadia Group which includes Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge) is Prime Minister David Cameron’s efficiency adviser? But then the finance director of Vodafone is advisor to Chancellor George Osbourne on corporate tax. Maybe they would both like to advise on efficient collection of corporate tax.

But help is to hand, UK Uncut has formed the Big Society Revenue and Customs (BSRC). Staffed by armies of citizen volunteers they will replace the HMRC and, in their own unique way, make sure that corporate tax avoiders pay.

UK Uncut has the support of Jubilee Debt Campaign, War on Want and a rapidly growing band of activists.

In light of the hard dedicated support by UK Uncut on behalf of society, please nominate for a Big Society Award.

Also see

ActionAid exposes tax dodging by UK brewing giant SABMiller, owners of Grolsch

Schtop fleecing Ghana

Tax Justice campaign

Calling time on tax avoidance

New target for Dec 4th day of action is Sir Philip Green

Philip Green to be target of corporate tax avoidance protest

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


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