Posts Tagged ‘tax avoidance’

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

Vodafone £6 billion unpaid tax bill

October 29, 2010

While the poor starve, the rich and global corporations fiddle their tax.

Last week, the UK government announced massive cuts in public spending with the poor and the disadvantaged and the environment being hardest hit.

The week before the government had announced a whole new army of investigators to track down benefit claimants who might be fiddling their meagre income, might be doing the odd few hours down the pub cash-in-hand as the only way to make ends meet. As one young mum told me, it was this little extra that paid for clothes and the occasional treat.

And yet at the same time, tax collectors are to be cut.

It does not not need much thought to see who benefits from this, the rich and Big Businesses.

Just one example that has caught public attention, especially after their flagship London store in Oxford Street was closed down in protest, is Vodafone, £6 billion which the government has apparently said they do not have to pay.

We are told we are staring into the abyss, facing bankruptcy, but it is ok for Vodafone to be let off the hook over an unpaid tax bill of £6 billion.

On Wednesday protesters shut down the flag ship Vodafone store in London. On Wednesday protesters shut down all six Vodafone stores in Leeds.

This Saturday (30 October 2010), ie tomorrow, it is planned to shut down every Vodafone store in London, and if possible across the country.

This type of protest coordinated by UK Uncut, and similar protests on Climate Chaos by groups like Climate Camp and Climate Rush, is far more effective than French-style protests and political rallies as it is hitting directly the greedy bastards who got us in the state we are currently in.

£7 billion cuts in benefits to the poor. £6 billion unpaid tax by Vodafone. We can all do the sums and we do not like the result.

Sign the petition calling for Vodafone to pay their unpaid tax

Follow on twitter

Earlier in the year George Osborne the millionaire Chancellor who last week announced the massive cuts was in India promoting Vodafone! The irony is not lost that India is demanding that Vodafone pays their unpaid taxes!

It is not only Vodafone, other big companies are dodging their tax. Barclays has a special secret unit to advise companies and the super rich on how to avoid their taxes. Listen to the excellent BBC Radio 4 File on Four documentary, A Taxing Dilemma.

Also see

Vodafone Direct Action Spreads – Saturday Callout

Johann Hari: Protest works. Just look at the proof

Vodafone’s tax case leaves a sour taste

Taxman let Vodafone off £6bn bill

Insurrection on Oxford Street

Protestors shut down Vodafone store over ‘tax dodging’ claims

Occupation highlights Vodafone’s legal tax dodge

Leeds protesters shut down Vodafone

Vodafone Oxford St Occupied! We want our £6bn back

First Cuts Not the Depest

Vodafone must pay $2.6bn India tax bill

Vodafone given $2.5bn Indian tax bill deadline