Bigger Vodafone protest expected in Brighton tomorrow

Posted On 05 Nov 2010 at 9:56 am

A fresh protest against Vodafone is expected at its Brighton store this weekend, following eight arrests and the temporary closure of the shop during last Saturday’s action.

Demonstrators are angry that the Treasury has reportedly agreed to let the mobile phone giant off a £6bn tax bill at a time when thousands of public sector jobs are expected to be cut.

The Government has described the £6bn figure as an “urban myth”.

Last week’s sit-down protest followed the Brighton Stop the Cuts march against swingeing Government spending cuts, attended by an estimated 2,000 people.

The Guardian reports that this weekend’s will be even better attended. It quotes Amy Cox, who says Brighton protesters will decide on what form Saturday’s protest will take, although it’s likely a Vodafone store will be targeted.

She said: “We have leaflets which explain how Vodafone has been tax evading, and how that fits into the wider spiel the government has been giving us to say all these cuts are all really necessary – when in effect they could be sourcing some of this money from big corporations that are managing to evade their taxes.”

  1. Jon B Reply

    Corporate tax avoidance is the single most significant drain on the state.
    Many formerly UK based companies are now registered offshore, or they have transferred their capital assets into holding companies in tax havens. Tak Boots the Chemist. Previously paying more than 100 million in tax in the UK, this company is now registered in Switzerland. TOTAL tax paid last year was 14 million, and there is no way to know how much if this was in the UK. That represents a corporate tax rate of just 3%!

    This is why the government is looking at middle income PAYE employees as their future cash cow; they have no I renting of pursuing the companies and private citizens are easy meat.

    Barclays had a division solely devoted to exploiting tax loopholes not just avoid tax, but to artificially generate tax rebates that they could claim back in more than one country. So called “double dipping” allowed them to claim the same rebate twice; once in the UK and once in another country. All above board, but morally disgraceful. This meant that they could literally pick a figure for their tax liability and then engineer rebates to bring them in line with that figure.

    My advice is to boycott any company that avoids UK tax. Start with vodaphone, and Barclays, but look at your bank and your utilities suppliers. If they’re on the fiddle, switch to another company. Write them a letter to say why you moved!

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