Posts Tagged ‘tax dodgers’

Time to get tough on tax dodgers

May 20, 2015

When we hear, as we did during the boring election campaign, what do you wish to cut, if not hopsitals, then schools or libraries, or welfare payments, it simply is not true, not if everyone paid their fair share of tax.

It is time we got tough with the tax dodgers.

Russell Brand pays Lord Rothermere a visit

April 18, 2015
Daily Fail

Daily Fail

We have heard a lot lately of an elite group of people known as non-doms, that is not domiciled in the UK, and so avoid tax. For anyone else, to avoid tax, you would have to live outside the UK, and you are limited to the amount of time you can live in the UK, in other words, you are a tax exile.

But, this group have a status conferred by Mad King George a couple of hundred years ago.

It was introduced at the time income tax was introduced to pay for foreign wars, and you guessed it, it was introduced in order that the rich and powerful could avoid tax. In this case for wealthy landowners who owned estates in the colonies.

You can inherit the status, you may have it because yoo claim you do not live here, because you have a burial plot overseas.

It is clearly unfair that a privileged group of people should avoid tax. And that this status should be abolished.

One such person is Lord Rothermere, who inherited the status from his father, also called Lord Rothermere (the title is heredity).

Lord Rothermere just happens to be the owner of the Daily Mail. Which no doubt explains that it is a little more than a coincident the front page headlines attacking the mere hint that non-dom status be abolished and the smears on Russell Brand.

Vodafone hashtags get hijacked yet again

March 28, 2015

Vodafone do not seem to learn.

Please hijack their hashtags

and tell them what you think of their tax dodging.

Of course they could pay the billions of pounds in tax they owe.

Creative direct action

January 3, 2015

The march, the petition, no longer work, or at least of limited utility, we need to be more creative and have fun.

UK Uncut, used social media, a day, a date, a time, occupy the tax dodgers Starbucks and Vodafone. It is visible, gets the message across to more people, they even ask can they join in.

Tax dodging would not be even on the political agenda were it not for UK Uncut. There is still a long way to go, tax dodgers are still tax dodging.

Climate Rush have always carried out creative direct action.

Clones of The Trews not a good idea. Far better people establish their own news networks and informations services.

Follow ie this blog, to learn what you will not learn elsewhere, and at the same time come across some great music. And Dark Mountain collection on Medium.

Work outside the system. If you play by their rules, you play their game and they are in control.

In Germany, local people are taking back control of their own energy grids. They can guarantee the feed-in tariffs for local alternative power generation, the profits go back into the local community, they can accelerate the trend away from fossil fuels and into renewables.

A coordinated mass withdrawal of funds from one of the banks, trigger a loss of confidence.

Education needs to be improved. Teach the basics, how to garden, how to cook, how to think, how to question.

Would we have austerity, Shock Doctrine, slash and burn of public cuts, if people were to question? Would we have the rubbish lying corrupt politicians who do not act for us?

We need the Right of Recall to remove from office corrupt politicians.

We need local involvement, people deciding, participatory democracy, not corrupt politicians dictating to us, the people reduced to election fodder.

For example, mass closure of public libraries in Lincolnshire only stopped by action in the High Court, then Lincolnshire County Council changing its constitution to deny the people the right to petition the council and trigger a debate.

Tax dodgers and hypocrites

December 5, 2014
Sun garbage

Sun garbage

Earlier in the week, Russell Brand and tenants from the New Era Estate marched to Downing Street and dropped off a petition signed by around 300,000 people.

The tenants at New Era Estate, an estate of social housing built in the 1930s, are facing eviction following acquisition of their estate by US vulture capitalists WestBrook aka WestCrook, who wish to triple the rents they pay.

Interviewed outside 10 Downing Street, a Channel 4 News reporter wished to know about the plight of the tenants. Er no, he was more interested in where Russell Brand lived and how much his house cost. Of absolutely no relevance to the New Era Estate protest.

The following day, The Sun ran a smear campaign on its front page, featuring Russell Brand a hypocrite because his landlord is a tax dodger. Not Russell Brand a tax dodger, his landlord.

To avoid being labelled hypocrites please avoid the following tax dodgers:

  • The Sun and any Murdoch company
  • Top Shop
  • Starbucks
  • Vodafone
  • Boots
  • Amazon
  • Google

George Osborne in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, announced more cuts for the poor. Meanwhile the tax dodgers laugh all the way to their tax havens.

If you wish to know more about tax dodgers, then please follow UK Uncut and join in their actions when they next target a tax dodger.

Greene King tax dodgers

May 3, 2013
Rooney Anand Greene King dodging tax and screwing pub landlords

Rooney Anand Greene King dodging tax and screwing pub landlords

Greene King are a pubco, ie a large pub owning company that screws pub landlords by charging extortionate rents, and by overcharging for the beer they are forced to buy. The net result is the pubs go bust, and are then sold off for redevelopment.

We are losing 18 pubs a week thanks to greedy pubcos like Greene King.

One such pub Greene King has screwed into the ground is Farmer’s Boy, a 17th-century Grade II listed building in the village of Langley, Hertfordshire. Fred Robinson ran the pub for nearly five years but during that time it was never refurbished. The pub is now closed, earmarked for redevelopment as housing, Fred Robinson unemployed and the prospect of being rendered homeless.

Greene King are not content to screw their pub landlords, they are also screwing the rest of society by joining the likes of Starbucks and dodging tax.

Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee have cited the pub group’s scheme as one example of “an illegitimate game to outwit the taxpayer”. Conservative committee member Richard Bacon suggested it was “purely artificial”.

Lawyers for HMRC claim that Greene King, which owns 2,300 pubs, including the Hungry Horse and Loch Fyne restaurant chains, received tailored tax advice from Ernst & Young suggesting it could build a series of transactions between companies within the same group that would leave it with a tax advantage.

Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand had the gall to take umbrage when The Grauniad had the audacity to question him about his tax-dodging activity.

Tax-dodging Greene King now face the prospect of a boycott or occupation.

Google: We are proud to be tax dodgers

December 14, 2012
Google tax dodgers

Google proud to be tax dodgers

I am very proud of the [tax dodging] structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate. — Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman

For Eric Schmidt to say that he is ‘proud’ of his company’s approach to paying tax is arrogant, out of touch and an insult to his customers here in the UK. — Margaret Hodge, chairman House of Commons Public Accounts Committee

In an interview in New York Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, bragged that Google had no intention of paying more to the UK exchequer. Documents filed last month show that Google generated around £2.5 billion in UK sales last year but paid just £6 million in corporation tax.

The Californian based search giant has also been revealed to have sheltered nearly $10 billion of its revenues in Bermuda allowing it to avoid some $2 billion worldwide taxes in 2011.

What Eric Schmidt has failed to grasp is that the public is thoroughly sick of companies like Google, Starbucks, Amazon thinking their sheer financial size and monopoly or near monopoly position means they can do as they please as paying taxes is only for the little people and those companies that cannot afford the accountants and lawyers to get way with not paying taxes.

Contrast what the arrogant Shit, oops sorry, Schmidt, has to say on the matter

There are lots of benefits to [being in Britain]. It’s very good for us, but to go back to shareholders and say, ‘We looked at 200 countries but felt sorry for those British people so we want to [pay them more]’, there is probably some law against doing that.

with what Margaret Hodge had to say

Ordinary people who pay their taxes unquestioningly are sick and tired of seeing hugely profitable global companies like Google use every trick in the book to get out of contributing their fair share.

Google should recognise its obligations to countries like the UK from which it derives such huge benefits, and pay proper corporation tax on the profits it makes from economic activity here. It should be ashamed, not proud, to do anything less.

What Schmidt seems to have failed to notice, is that Starbucks is now a toxic brand that drinking shit coffee in Starbucks is now akin to associating with known criminals, that a boycott of Amazon is growing, that we do not have to use Google Chrome as our web browser, we can use Firefox (downloading as I write), that if we do use Google to search or youtube to watch videos (there is vimeo) we do not have to click on any of the annoying adverts.

Please sign the Google tax avoidance petition and pass to all your friends.

Appalling working conditions at Starbucks

December 4, 2012
Starbucks Coffee dodging tax as usual

Starbucks Coffee dodging tax as usual

In her seminal work, No Logo, published a decade ago, Naomi Klein describes the appalling working conditions at Starbucks, so poorly paid that they cannot afford the overpriced coffee they serve. Bad practices include telling workers to sign off for a break during a slack period, then sign back on a again if busy. Net result, a worker can have been there for ten hours but when they check their wage slip, they have only been paid for two hours.

It is for this reason I would never drink coffee at Starbucks, plus it is overpriced, rubbish coffee.

What is shocking is that these appalling work practices still exist. Which is why Starbucks is able to make such massive profits, though to dodge tax they tell the tax man they are running at a loss.

Workers at Starbucks are turning up to work and being told to sign new contracts.

The first thing Starbucks workers should understand is that you do not have to sign a new contract, you have a contract, lousy as it may be, you do not then tear it up and sign an even worse contract.

The new contract does away with paid breaks, sick leave, maternity leave. Some will see pay frozen. Remember these are minimum wage staff.

Workers are being told, sign or leave.

Starbucks claims these new working conditions follow consultations with workers.

Yeah right. Starbucks workers said great we would really love working conditions even worse than those we already have.

An example of one of the benefits of working for Starbucks (and please do not laugh): Staff who complete five years of service will continue to receive a pen and the right to take four weeks off without pay.

Do any workers stay five years in Starbucks!

Starbucks dodge tax. Last Saturday Starbucks entered into talks with HMRC to voluntarily pay back some of the tax they have dodged. This is like a mugger coming back and returning your mobile phone and expecting you to be grateful.

Starbucks refers to its workers as partners. This must be a Starbucks in joke. Partner implies some form of equality.

The greedy bosses of Starbucks have just awarded themselves a £50 million bonus, profiteering off the backs of their hard working partners.

Saturday 8 December 2012, Starbucks is to be occupied. If there is not an occupation of a Starbucks near you, then help organise one. You may be in for a surprise, you may find the partners wish to join you.

38 Degrees seeks your help in tackling tax dodgers

November 23, 2012
£4.1bn: the true cost of tax avoidance

£4.1bn: the true cost of corporate tax avoidance

Starbucks, Google and Amazon: they’re all at it. These super rich big businesses were recently dragged up in front of MPs and exposed for using tax havens and other scams to pay little or no corporation tax.

There’s big talk from our politicians but not much action. Google even recently admitted “We could pay more tax but we would have to do so voluntarily”.

But together we have the numbers, track record and imagination to tackle tax dodging and win. And it’s the perfect time to work together to take it on. It’s all over the news and lots of people seem to want real change. These are the best ingredients for a great 38 Degrees campaign.

We’ve got the right moment – but we need the right next move to force a change. 38 Degrees members have voted time and time again to prioritise tackling tax-dodging. Can you fill out a few questions to decide together what we do next to tackle tax dodging?

Businesses based in the UK aren’t playing on a level playing field. From our local bookshops, right up to big names like John Lewis they’re being undercut and put out of business by tax dodgers. Something needs to change.

Alongside this, scores of high profile business people and celebrities have been dodging tax on their incomes. Our public services are being cut and we’re being asked to tighten our belts whilst others are being let off scot free.

We’ve shown before that when we act together we can push corporations and politicians to do the right thing. We’ve taken on companies like McDonalds and embarrassed them into not dodging tax around the Olympics.

If we focus our people powered movement on the right next move – we could force the change we need to see. It takes a couple of minutes to fill out the survey.

And please do not forget to join the occupation of Starbucks on 8 December 2012. If there is no action organised near you then organise one.

Save the Tumbledown Dick

November 18, 2012
Save the Tumbledown Dick

Save the Tumbledown Dick

Save the Tumbledown Dick

Save the Tumbledown Dick

This building has the richest history of any other in the town, we CANNOT and WILL NOT stand by quietly and watch it be destroyed for fast cash. – Save the Tumbledown Dick campaign

The Tumbledown Dick is a sleazy run-down pub on the main road running through Farnborough. Or was. It used to have a reputation for drug dealing, though I never saw any evidence for this.

The Tumbledown Dick may have been sleazy, but it did at least have character, which is more than can be said for the soulless town centre that lies behind it, a town centre that must rank as one of the ugliest in the country.

The Tumbledown Dick closed down in 2008 in very suspicious circumstances. The pub was raided by local environment health, at the request of a member of the public, the pub then closed, the staff sacked. It has remained closed and boarded-up ever since.

At the time it was at serious risk of demolition. It stood surrounded by vacant land, half the town centre and a small housing estate was about to be demolished for an unwanted Sainsbury’s superstore. Had the Tumbledown Dick been demolished, it would have created a very large site for redevelopment as part of the town centre redevelopment.

What ever nefarious scheme was planned must have fallen through as The Tumbledown Dick still stands, vacant and boarded up.

At the time, it was requested of the council that an Emergency Listing was applied for the building as it was under threat. No application was ever made. It is also highly suspicious The Tumbledown Dick has never been a listed building. It is listed as a Hampshire Treasure, any entirely worthless and meaningless listing.

The Tumbledown Dick pre-dates Farnborough. Old maps show it as an isolated building in the middle of desolate heathland, on a track running through the heath. The track running past Farnborough North Station, across the line and across the River Blackwater, towards Frimley Green, is the original track across the heathland.

The first documentary evidence of the Tumbledown Dick appears in a letter dated 30 July 1722, from Thomas Matthew of Cove. The earliest known tenant was William Prior in 1817, and it was also owned by the Lord of the Manor of Farnborough in the 1820s.

In more recent years, as well as being a popular public house, The Tumbledown Dick has been a popular music venue. Bands such as The Jam have played there.

The name Tumbledown Dick has two possible origins.

Richard Cromwell was the third son of Oliver Cromwell. He was the second ruling Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, serving for just under nine months, from 3 September 1658 until 25 May 1659. Royalists rejoiced at his downfall and he was given the name ‘Tumble Down Dick’ or ‘Queen Dick’.

The heathland was the province of Highway Men, one of whom was reputed to be Dick Turpin.

The threat to the Tumbledown Dick is now acute, it has been bought by McDonald’s who wish to develop the site as a McDonald’s.

The last thing the area needs is yet another McDonald’s.

It is claimed the Tumbledown Dick is not viable as a pub. This statement is not true as it was viable before it was closed.

The Spirit Pub Company, the current leaseholder, claim the Tumbledown Dick to not be viable as a public house. What may not be viable for the Spirit Pub Company to invest in is not the same as the Tumbledown Dick being viable following the required investment.

Spirit Pub Company was recently spun off from Punch Taverns. Punch Taverns is a zombie company.

A zombie company is one that is in a hole, drowning in debt, with no hope of paying off the loan, which is barely able to pay the interest on the loan, not able to invest in the company.

There are an estimated 150,000 zombie companies in the UK of which one is Punch Taverns. They went on a massive buying spree, financed by borrowing billions of pounds on an overvalued estate which has since collapsed in value. Punch Taverns is only able to stay afloat by jacking up rents to pub landlords (not good news for the pub landlords) and selling off pubs for development (not good news for pubs like the Tumbledown Dick). Interest rates are currently at a record low. Were interest rates to go up, zombie companies like Punch Taverns would go bust.

Were the Tumbledown Dick a listed building, which it should be, it would have no redevelopment value, which raises big question marks against the developers best friend the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor for not applying for a listing as soon as it become apparent the Tumbledown Dick was under threat. It also raises the question why an historic building like the Tumbledown Dick is not a listed building.

Where do we go from here?

As a matter of absolute emergency an Emergency Listing must be obtained for the Tumbledown Dick. If listed, the owners can then be forced to maintain the building.

The Tumbledown Dick will need extensive renovation, then turned into a cultural venue, music, art, decent place to eat.

Farnborough is a cultural wasteland, there is nowhere decent to eat.

The Tumbledown Dick could be a coffee bar during the daytime, serving quality coffee, lunches, afternoon teas, meals in the evening.

The walls used for art exhibitions.

The small bar used a as free space for meetings.

It could even be alcohol free. Yes, I can hear the groans, but such places are springing up across the country, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, are but three examples.

If it is to serve alcohol, then emphasis on quality, not rubbish out of what is little more than a chemical factory. Support for local breweries.

The food served locally sourced, freshly prepared.

The separate music venue probably needs demolishing and rebuilding. It could go completely and use the large bar.

Possibility of a recording studio.

It should be open to all ages, from kids in buggies, to young teens feeling a safe space to meet their friends

Anyone who thinks this is pie in the sky, look around locally.

The Keystone, Guildford: Excellent, freshly prepared food., Café Scientifique, art on the walls, Keystone Spirit.

The Foresters, Church Crookham: Excellent food, albeit a little pricey.

The Barn, Farnham: Music, food, popular with all ages, art exhibitions, record launches, drawing classes, yoga …

Café Mila, Godalming: Coffee bar, excellent coffee, lunches, afternoon teas, occasional dinners in the evening, yoga …

This by looking what is possible locally, and highly popular, is possible locally.

Funding could be raised using Kickstarter.

All what is lacking is the will.

But what must not happen, is demolition and turning into a disgusting fast food outlet.

If relaunch as a cultural venue does not happen and demolition is imminent, then the building should be occupied, seized as a cultural venue for the locality.

An excellent example would be Ramparts, a very popular cultural centre in London that was occupied and held for a number of years.

Anyone wondering about the legality of occupation, it is not illegal to occupy a vacated commercial building that is sitting empty and putting it to good use. That is what happened with Ramparts and is happening across the country.

A facebook group, Save the Tumbledown Dick has been formed. There is also a Save the Tumbledown Dick website, which appears to be dormant.

Please sign the petition, and pass to friends and colleagues.

Costa tried to muscle their unwanted way into Totnes. They were booted out. Now do the same with McDonald’s.

The Coach and Horses in Soho is under threat. One of many pubs sold off by zombie company Punch Taverns.

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