Press release: Starbucks 'blatant admission of guilt' over tax

Posted on Sun 2nd Dec 2012, 1:21pm
07415 063231 | 07572 594128

Responding to reports that Starbucks is set to voluntarily increase its tax payments in the UK [1], Jane Harvey, a spokesperson for UK Uncut said:

"Starbuck's announcement is a blatant admission of guilt that they have intentionally avoided tax in the UK for years. It is not up to Starbucks to promise it will pay a bit more tax when it suits them, it’s up to the government to force companies to pay their fair share. This announcement shows that protest and public pressure works and that we are doing the government’s job for them as they refuse to tackle tax avoidance. The government’s next step must be to close the loopholes that Starbucks and other companies use to avoid paying billions in tax to the UK, instead of targeting single mums and disabled people through slashing public services, the welfare state and privatising the NHS."

UK Uncut will be staging a national day of action this Saturday targeting Starbucks stores in protest at the company's tax avoidance and the impact of government spending cuts on women [2]. There are currently 28 actions planned to take place at Starbucks stores across the country, including Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Truro and Shrewsbury [3].


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Guest blog from Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union

Posted on Sat 17th Nov 2012, 2:01pm
bakers union

'For a fair tax system and a just society' by Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union

The issue of Starbucks avoiding tax is yet another example of the establishment looking after its own at the expense of the rest. In the recent budget, the government was prepared to slap a tax on pasties and put thousands of jobs at risk.

George Osborne was fully prepared to put a further burden on working people through a flawed and totally impractical tax and it took a considerable amount of campaigning in order for him to scrap it.

The government will bend over backwards to squeeze and pressurise those with little money. They pull out all the stops to attack those on benefits, yet at the same time, they refuse to deal with those businesses and other wealthy individuals that use loopholes to avoid paying tax.

The priorities for this government couldn't be clearer- the dismantling of the welfare state and the passing over of our valued public sector into the hands of their rich and greedy friends in the city. The aim is to concentrate the wealth of the many into the hands of the few.

This government isn't just making us pay for an economic crisis we didn't create by placing the financial burden on the least well off and cutting benefits; it intends to allow workplace exploitation through both the watering down of hard fought employment legislation and the reduction of health and safety protection. This means that our children will be entering workplaces far less safe than they were before.

The government is also hell bent on abusing the unemployed with their vile 'Workfare' programme, which is nothing less than another subsidy to big companies in the shape of free labour, masquerading as 'work experience'.

A fair tax system is required with airtight, robust legislation running alongside it that will make it easy to bring criminal charges against those that fail to pay their taxes. This government and others before it have deliberately failed to deal with tax loopholes, believing that it helped to create growth. There can be absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the current recession, the worst in history puts an end to that theory.

The failure of the government to close loopholes in our tax system has led to a lack of investment in schools, housing and our health service. Instead, they attack our pensioners and disabled whilst targeting and demonising anyone that claims any sort of benefit.

They have the temerity to do this in the name of 'economic necessity' and 'fairness', yet they cut taxes for themselves and other millionaires, whilst allowing others to avoid paying it completely.

All of this explains why UK Uncut's campaign is both right and justified.

Our members in the BFAWU fully endorse and support the activities they carry out in pursuit of fair taxation and a just society. We must not, cannot and will not be deterred from this aim.

The BFAWU is asking its members across the country to join the day of action organised by UK Uncut for the 8th December. We will also be raising the issue from the platform of the demonstration taking place in Manchester (Say No to Osborne’s cutbacks and no more Condem Austerity) which has been organised by Greater Manchester association of trades councils also being held on the 8th December.

Press release: UK Uncut to target Starbucks over impact of government cuts on women

Posted on Mon 12th Nov 2012, 12:01am
07415 063231 | 07572 594128

UK Uncut to target Starbucks over impact of government cuts on women

* Activists to turn Starbucks stores into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters

* Announcement comes as Starbucks executives face MPs over tax avoidance allegations

As Starbucks executives face a fierce grilling today in Parliament, UK Uncut [1] has today announced a national day of action targeting Starbucks coffee stores in protest against the government's spending cuts that are hurting women. The announcement comes as top Starbucks executives face the Public Accounts Committee over recent exposes of the company's tax avoidance.[2]

Activists have chosen to target the company as a result of its tax avoidance; taxes they claim could fund public services currently being cut by the government. The action will see Starbucks stores transformed into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters to highlight the disproportionate impact of the government's spending cuts on women. The action will take place on Saturday 8 December, three days after the Chancellor's autumn statement when further spending cuts are expected to be announced.

Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist said:

"It is an outrage that the government continues to let multinationals like Starbucks dodge millions in tax while vital services like refuges and rape crisis centres face the axe. It does not have to be this way. The government could easily bring in billions that could fund vital services by clamping down on tax dodging, but are instead making cuts that are forcing women to choose between motherhood and work, and trapping them in abusive relationships."

Starbucks has come under fire after a Reuters investigation disclosed that the company had paid no UK corporation tax in the last three years, despite reporting sales of £1.2bn.[3] The company was also reported to have filed accounts saying the companies UK operations were making a loss, while reporting strong UK profits to investors.

Campaigners have highlighted research showing that women will experience a disproportionate impact as a result of the government's public spending cuts. [4] Women are bearing the brunt of cuts to public sector jobs, wages, housing benefit, childcare, and pensions. [5] Additional hardship on women is being caused by the government's decision to cut £5.6m from violence against women services, £300m from Sure Start centres and a further £10 billion in benefit cuts. Every day 230 women are turned away from refuges as a result of the government's cuts to women's services. [6]

Sheena Shah, a UK Uncut activist said "Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of out of touch millionaire men. The government's savage austerity plans are pushing the cause of women's equality back decades. Welfare, healthcare, Sure Start centres, childcare, rape and domestic abuse services are being cut and female unemployment is rocketing. Benefits cuts are forcing women to choose between heating the house and feeding the family. No one should have to make these choices."


1 - UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network, well-known for targeting corporate tax avoidance:

2 - Troy Alstead, Starbucks Global Chief Financial Officer and Kris Engskov, Managing Director, Starbucks UK will be giving evidence to a Public Accounts Committee evidence session on the Taxation of Multinational Corporations at 3:15pm on 12 November. Representatives from Amazon and Google are also expected to give evidence. -

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