Archive for the ‘UK Uncut’ Category

Caffé Nero dodge tax

March 28, 2018

Caffé Nero and Starbucks are two large tax-dodging coffee chains serving undrinkable coffee.

Caffè Nero dodge tax as does Starbucks.

Caffè Nero dodge tax through a complex network of companies, ultimately owned by a Vulture Capitalist holding company based in Luxembourg.

Debt was used to acquire the company, which is then loaded onto the company, unable to  service the debt let alone pay it off, Caffè Nero is a zombie company.

Were Caffè Nero to file for bankrutcy, it would be another BHS.

This tax-dodging we all pay for with fewer police on our streets, the terrible scenes we have seen over the winter in our A&E departments in hospitals, cuts to social services, mass library closures, cuts to social benefits.

For the independent coffee shop, it is unfair competition, as they pay their taxes.

Big corporations dominate too many areas of our lives. They destroy the character of our town centres losing our sense of place. When they go under, we are left with devastated town centres which never recover.

They drain money out of our local economies. Spend a tenner in a corporate chain and that is a tenner drained straight out of the local economy, less a tiny trickle down to low paid temporary zero hours staff.

Spend a tenner in a local indie business and that tenner is retained and recycled within the local economy. There is also a local multiplier. For every pound you spend it is as though more than a pound has been spent, as the local business will spend it in the local economy. The coffee shop will be ordering cakes from a local bakery.

And the clincher, the local indie coffee shop serves better coffee.

Acquisition of Harris + Hoole by Caffè Nero has resulted in low staffing levels, leading to poor service, many good staff have left, the coffee once sourced from Union Hand-Roasted is now roasted by Caffè Nero, death by a thousand cuts.

One reason for the acquisition of this loss making chain may have been to offset tax.

I suggest for next issue of Caffeine that UK Uncut are invited to contribute a feature on tax dodging by Starbucks and Caffè Nero.

Caffè Nero dodge tax

February 26, 2017

Caffè Nero has joined the growing list of tax dodgers, which includes Starbucks.

Coffee shop chain Caffè Nero paid no corporation tax in the UK last year, despite ringing up profits of £25.5m.

Companies House filings show turnover at Caffè Nero grew 6.7 per cent to £257.6m as it opened 31 stores over the year.

Caffè Nero has not paid UK corporation tax since 2007 and came under criticism last year for not paying corporation tax in 2015 on profits of £23.6m.

Starbucks has also faced backlash in the past over alleged tax avoidance, but has since changed the structure of its company and paid an £8.1m UK corporation tax bill in 2015.

It is unfortunate Caffè Nero now own Harris + Hoole – Tolley, Tolley and Tolley having sold the staff down the river. They did the same to Taylor St Barista staff when they closed the coffee shop in Brighton.

In both cases, these excellent coffee shops, especially Taylor St Barista in Brighton and Harris + Hoole in Guildford, could have been made available to their staff and customers to run as open coops, but that would not have satisfied the greed of Tolley, Tolley and Tolley.

The solution is simple, avoid disgusting coffee in Costa, tax dodging Starbucks and Caffè Nero and support local indie coffee shops.

How the tax man treats small businesses

April 13, 2016

There warts and all: the warts being my handwriting; all – being my generous donation to HMRC. I actually paid more tax than some companies owned by people that he might know quite well. — Jeremy Corbyn

Today we had infantile comments from Dodgy Dave Cameron relating to Jeremy Corbyn being fined £100 for late tax returns.

Easily done, many do.

Were Google fined for being six years late in paying their tax?

Cameron is totally out of touch with reality. He fails to comprehend  the anger of ordinary people and small businesses, who work hard and pay their taxes.

From The Independent

Following the Panama Papers scandal and Cameron’s subsequent bungled reaction, we saw hundreds protest outside Downing Street calling for the PM’s resignation. Meanwhile, the right-wing media attempted to bite back: the Metro ran a front-page headline on ‘Corbyn the tax dodger’ (referring to the fact that Corbyn paid a £100 fee for filing his tax return five days late, rather than avoiding any tax at all.) The Telegraph ran a story accusing Corbyn of receiving £3 million from the state, also known as his salary for his 33 years’ work as a Member of Parliament. The Sun even tried to suggest that the Labour leader had purposely failed to reveal earnings from a lecture he once delivered. The truth was a little different – as it turns out, Jeremy Corbyn actually paid more tax than he should have.

I mentioned this today to a restaurant owner.

He told me of how he was treated when he was late paying his tax. An oversight not an attempt not to pay.

A visit by an angry tax man, who wanted to strip the restaurant.

He wanted to take the paintings off the wall, which he assumed to be of value. They are, but do not belong to the restaurant, they are on loan.

Then he wanted to take the bottles of wine in a rack by the wall. Not wine, bottles of water. For show. No self-respecting restaurant would store wine where it was warm.

The tax man was asked, as there was a delay in paying the tax due to an oversight, why did he not send a reminder?

The response was he did not have to.

The tax man was told go and harass Starbucks.

Google tax deal rapidly unravels

January 29, 2016

A tale of two taxes.

Top investor turns on Google over tax 'sham' - Times 28 January 2016

Top investor turns on Google over tax ‘sham’ – Times 28 January 2016

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Google tax scam

Last week we had the unpleasant spectacle of a smug George Osborne at Davos bragging of the amazing tax deal he had negotiated with Google.

Since Davos, a tax deal that has rapidly unravelled.

A tax deal so amazing, it was jaw dropping. Following a six year investigation of Google by the tax authority HMRC (cost of investigation, details of investigation, unknown), Google was to ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million in tax, for a period covering ten years. This works out at a jaw dropping tax rate of somewhere around 2 to 3 percent.

A good deal for Google, a very poor deal for long suffering taxpayers, who would be only too happy to negotiate with HMRC a tax rate of 2.5%.

The current rate of corporation tax is 20%. Osborne wishes to lower to 18%.

The lax tax regime means corporations have amassed a massive £750 billion cash pile, dividends are at a record high. There is very little investment, as the corporations are risk averse, and see no future prospects.

Earlier in the week, Osborne was called by John McDonnell to appear before the House of Commons to explain himself.  He lacked the courtesy to turn up, instead sending a clueless junior minster.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn wiped the floor with David Cameron, who unable to explain the tax deal, shouted infantile insults. Of what relevance the tax under the last Labour government? We know Alistair Darling was as useless as George Osborne.

The list of those challenging this tax deal grows by the day.

Rupert Murdoch, himself a serial tax dodger, has attacked the deal.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has attacked the deal.

James Anderson,  major investor in Google, has attacked the deal.

A German Green MEP has attacked the deal.

The European Commission has said that if they receive a complaint they will launch an investigation.

In Italy, in France, Google pay a higher rate of tax.

On buying goods and service, people pay 17.5% VAT.

People pay higher personal income tax.

The HMRC investigation into Google should be published.

The tax returns of Google should be published, as should of any company with a turnover in excess of a million pounds.

The tax returns of Members of the House of Commons (and of the Lords) should be published.

In parallel with the Google tax scam unravelling, two people won their Appeal at the Court of Appeal against paying Bedroom Tax on Human Rights grounds. One a lady who has a secure room to which she can retreat if in danger of being attacked, the other a disabled man who looks after his severely disabled grandson. What can only be described as evil, the government is to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. What can only be described as bizarre, their statement that the Appeal Court contradicted the ruling of the High Court. Not true, as a superior court, the Appeal Court overruled the Supreme Court.

People, who could do without the stress, are to be put through more stress by the Evil Doers.

The number of people this ruling will effect, is small. It will probably cost more in legal fees.

The government points out the disabled man receives a discretionary payment, thus does not have to pay the Bedroom Tax. This entirely misses the point. He should not be forced to claim, and if discretionary, could be terminated at any time.

It was not ordinary people who caused the banking crash in 2008, that took down the economy. It was the criminal activity of bankers and lax banking regulation. And yet, not a single banker is in prison. The banks were bailed out, the bankers draw their obscene bonuses.

Austerity is a political choice, it is an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, cuts to libraries, benefits, an excuse to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

The Bedroom Tax is a tax on the poor.

If we need a Bedroom Tax, then levy on those with more than five bedrooms and a household income in excess of £100,000.

It is not the just the tax dodging and avoidance. We have, as Mariana Mazzucato   highlighted on Channel 4 News last night, companies like Google holding meetings with ministers to determine tax policy.

Senior Tories met Google chiefs twenty-five times in run-up to their  shameful tax deal.

Please sign the petition calling upon the European  Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to investigate the Google tax scam.

Google ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million ‘tax’

January 24, 2016

For small businesses and ordinary people, tax is compulsory, for tax dodging corporations like Vodafone, Starbucks, Facebook and Google, it is voluntary.

Google tax dodging

Google tax dodging

It’s unbelievable that big companies like Google ‘negotiate’ the amount of tax they pay. They should be told how much to pay, and made to pay up. Like everyone else. — UK Uncut

A smug George Osborne at Davos said Goggle only paying £130 million tax showed the success of his tax policies.

If an individual or a small business fail to pay tax, they will be prosecuted, forced to pay the tax owed. A small businesses may be forced into bankruptcy by the tax authorises to recover unpaid tax, may face a prison sentence.

One rule for ordinary people, small businesses another rule for the wealthy and global corporations.

From the viewpoint of George Osborne, it is a major success of his tax policy, aiding and abetting the rich and greedy corporations to dodge tax.

HMRC staff who aided and abetted, should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office, a criminal offence that attracts a prison sentence.

A six year investigation into the tax affairs of Google. How much did it cost, has it been published?

And the result, Google ‘voluntarily’ pay £130 million ‘tax’ for ten years of tax dodging.

For small businesses and ordinary people, tax is compulsory, for tax dodging corporations like Vodafone, Starbucks, Facebook and Google, it is voluntary.

Tax credits a bad policy

October 25, 2015

Tax credits do not subsidise workers they subsidise bad employers. If their business model relies on paying poverty wages then they should be driven out of business.

We eliminate tax credits, by paying higher wages, by creating high paid, skilled jobs.

We eliminate tax credits by, as outlined by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, using a People’s Quantitative Easing to create the cool breeze of green technology, by financing apps that create a sharing, collaborative economy, not the failed Quantitative Easing of the Tories, a mechanism to transfer more wealth to the rich, and in doing so, create piles of dead money.

The policy of the corrupt elite is to drive down wages to that of China and India.

The Tories want to cut tax credits by £4.2 billion. That is £4.2 billion taken out of the pockets of the working poor.

It was not the poor who caused the financial crash of 2008, it was the greedy bankers, greedy bankers who finance the Tory Party, but it is the poor, who can least afford it, who are being forced to pay the price.

Liar David Cameron said before the last election, they would not cut tax credits.

Bully-boy David Cameron is intimidating the House of Lords not to vote against tax credits. Even threatening to swamp the Lords with yet more of his cronies.

Apart from waging Class Warfare, why are the Tories so eager to cut tax credits? Simple, more money available, £4.2 billion, to cut taxes for the rich and corporation tax.

It is nonsense to suggest a constitutional crisis is pending, for the simple reason we lack a constitution.

Equally to claim support of the House of Commons. It is not support when you have to force MPs to vote with you. Neither can it be claimed support in the country. Tories had minority electoral support, and with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Opposition Leader, what little support there is is draining away by the day.

If the only role of the Lords is to rubber-stamp what is sent from the Commons, then what role the Lords? This would be yet further grounds for abolition.

The House of Lords must listen to what the people are saying, look at the impact on the lives of the poorest, not jump to diktat from the Tory government.

When those demands land on the doorstep, remember who cut your tax credits.

Please sign the petition calling upon the House of Lords to veto cuts to tax credits.

Shame on Trussell Trust

June 22, 2015

Shame on Trussell Trust who pay their employees so badly that they have to rely upon tax credits to top up their wages.

I mentioned today to a Trussell Trust manager she would be seeing a sharp increase in demand for food banks, as David Cameron had strongly hinted abolition of tax credits.

To my surprise, she said she would be affected as she was reliant upon tax credits to top up her wages.

Now this is to be expected from KFC, McDonald’s and other bad employers, but should not we expect better standards from Trussell Trust as the country’s biggest providers of food banks?

Actually probably not.

The number of Trussell Trust food banks has risen eight-fold in just five years, to 445. Its most recent accounts show an annual income of nearly £3.4 million.

Many of those dependent upon food banks, are caused by the arbitrary sanctions being handed out by Job Centres.

A question mark though needs to be raised against the Trussell Trust.

For the Trussell Trust, food banks have become Big Business. Their recent claim of a million people dependent upon food banks has proved to be false. They have handed out a million food parcels, not quite the same thing.

But it gets worse, they have been charging local volunteers and churches what amounts to little more than franchising fees, £1,500 to set up food banks. telling them the money is needed for ‘branding and PR’ and ongoing fees of £350 a year.

The pitch to prospective punters says:

We’ll provide you with all the tools, training and know-how that you need to start a foodbank so that people in crisis in your town don’t have to go hungry.

They are told they will be given a website, publicity materials and ‘opportunities to talk to the Press’ among other benefits.

Foodbanks are asked to make a £1,500 donation towards these costs.

Tax credits

June 22, 2015

Today David Cameron gave strongest hint yet that he intends to abolish tax credits, part of class warfare on the poor and demonstration of economic illiteracy.

David Cameron is correct, yes we should abolish tax credits, and it would go some way to reducing the welfare bill.

But the way to cut tax credit is to raise the minimum wage.

Tax credit is the taxpayer subsiding bad employers. Raise the minimum wage, pay people a living wage.

If the business is dependent upon paying people low wages, worker exploitation,  then it is not a viable business.

If increasing the minimum wage puts out of business McDonald’s, KFC, Sports Direct and other bad employers, then all well and good.

And shame on Trussell Trust who pay their employees so badly that they have to top up their wages with tax credits. I would expect better from a charity that provides food banks.

And shame on Labour, the usual hypocrisy. Howls that tax credit may be cut. Why not instead call for an increase in minimum wage to make tax credits redundant?

With the exception of Jeremy Corbyn, Labour wannabe leaders were absent from the anti-austerity rally on Saturday.

David Cameron says he wants to create a fairer society. He does this by cutting money to the poor and vulnerable.

David Cameron wishes to force people into low paid, mind numbing, temporary, part time, zero hours McJobs by cutting benefits and issuing sanctions that terminate benefits. In other words starve people into work. Or force them into work as unpaid slaves on workfare programmes.

Anti-austerity protests

June 20, 2015
End Austerity Now

End Austerity Now

Today saw one of the biggest protests in London since the protests against the illegal Iraq war, an estimated a quarter of a million people on the street in London to protest against austerity.

Not only London, protests in Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Not only UK, protests across Europe in support of Greece and their fight against IMF-EU-German imposed austerity.

Austerity is a lie. It is a totally discredited policy. It has destroyed the economies of Greece and the UK.

In both countries used as an excuse for Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public services, closure of public libraries, cuts to welfare benefits, sell-off of state assets at bargain prices. .

In Greece, GDP has shrunk by 25%, debt risen from 125% to 175% of GDP.

In UK, five years of austerity has seen real wages stagnate, the poor get poorer, mass transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. During this period, the rich have doubled their wealth.

For once, the BBC actually covered an anti-austerity protest, not only covered but had at the top of the news agenda all day.

Speakers included Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn, Charlotte Church, Russell Brand.

Labour still do not seem to understand why they lost the election. They demonstrated today how out of touch they are. Of the leadership contenders, only Jeremy Corbyn showed up.

The protest in London was organised by The People’s Assembly.

Days before the rally the Daily Mail reported it would be hijacked by anarchists, they filmed a secret meeting, that the day would end in violence. It was a day of peaceful protest, a carnival atmosphere, families turned up. The police reported no arrests. 250,000 people on the street and the police report no arrests.

The protests were just the beginning of protests against austerity.

Selling RBS off on the cheap

June 10, 2015

This evening George Osborne announced what has been an open secret for some time, that he intends to sell off Royal Bank of Scotland on the cheap. The sale will be at a loss of £10 billion pounds.

The advice on the sale price has come from investment bankers.

And who will make a killing on the sale?

Er, none other than investment bankers.

Scroll back a couple of years and we see the RBS sell off is a re-run of the Post Office sell off.

The Post Office was sold on the cheap at a massive loss to the taxpayer. And who advised on the sale price? Investment bankers. And who profited from the sell off on the cheap? Er, investment bankers.

George Osborne during the Election announced a £12 billion cut to benefits. This on top of the cuts already made.

As usual under the Tories, the poor suffer the rich profit.

Iceland which refused to bail out the banks, indeed they gaoled the bankers and the people took direct action to force the government out and constitutional changes, had a few tough years, is now the only economy in Europe that is recovering.

The UK could have let the banks go bust, but instead bailed out the banks, and used the consequential economic crisis as an excuse for austerity, Shock Doctrine, cuts to public services, library closures, cuts to welfare benefits.

Instead of this cosy relationship with the banks (who fund the Tory Party), we should be breaking up the banks, spitting casino banking from retail banking, and throwing a few banksters into prison.

So far not a single bankster has had so much as a slap on the wrist, let alone had to serve time in prison.

Please sign the petition calling for a halt to the sell off of RBS on the cheap.

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