Press release: UK Uncut responds to PAC questioning the Big 4 accountancy firms

Posted on Thu 31st Jan 2013, 12:35pm
“The Big 4 accountancy firms have been quizzed this morning by MPs, and have admitted to promoting tax dodging. The hypocrisy of this is staggering – the government has given hundreds of millions of pounds to the Big 4 accountancy firms in public sector contracts, and has allowed these companies a central role in making the law on tax avoidance.

“People are fed up of being lied to with the government saying one thing and doing the opposite. The cuts aren’t necessary – we won’t stand for the cuts to our public services, to benefits that people need while the government is pumping money into the pockets of the same accountants and big businesses.

“The politicians are blaming the accountants and the lawyers for enabling tax avoidance, tax dodging businesses say they’re doing nothing wrong and are ‘creating wealth’, and the accountants are blaming capitalism and politicians. The truth is that noone wants to take responsibility for the system that puts profits for big business ahead of services and support for people who most need them. And this year, more and more people will take action against this.”

Press release: Over 40 UK Uncut actions across UK successfully target Starbucks over tax avoidance and impact of government cuts on women

Posted on Sat 8th Dec 2012, 2:21pm
sbks2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Over 40 UK Uncut actions across UK successfully target Starbucks over tax avoidance and impact of government cuts on women

07415 063231 | 07572 594128

- UK Uncut successfully targets Starbucks over tax avoidance and impact of government cuts on women
- Over 40 protests across the UK take place at Starbucks shops today, in UK Uncut's biggest day of action
- Protesters stage sit-ins and transform Starbucks into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters in protest against impact of government's cuts on women.

Growing public anger at Starbucks was clear today as over 40 of their shops across the UK- including in Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol and Shrewsbury- were targeted today by the anti-cuts direct action network, UK Uncut.

In central London a creche and women's refuge were set up in Starbuck's flagship stores, and in Birmingham people slept in sleeping bags on the floor to highlight homelessness. In Barnet, activists turned Starbucks into a library, while in York protesters handed out free tea and coffee in store.

The group took action to confront the company over its tax avoidance and highlight the impact of the government's cuts on women.[1] The group says that Starbucks' offer of £10 million is a 'PR stunt straight out of their marketing budget'.

Starbucks and other tax-dodging companies, including Google and Amazon, have had to face increasing public outrage and stinging criticism from the Public Accounts Committee over their tax practices this week. Nearly £5 billion new cuts were announced by George Osborne on Wednesday in the Autumn Statement.

Protesters say that they chose to target Starbucks as a result of its tax avoidance practices. They say that the government should be clamping down on tax avoidance by companies such as Starbucks rather than making cuts to the welfare state and the NHS which are devastating people's lives.

Women's groups [2] and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Cornwall participated in their biggest national day of action yet. Sit-in style protests saw Starbucks branches transformed into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters to highlight the disproportionate impact of the government's spending cuts on women.

Sarah Greene, a UK Uncut activist said: "It is an outrage that the government continues to choose to let multinationals like Starbucks dodge millions in tax while cutting vital services like refuges, creches and rape crisis centres. It does not have to be this way. The government could easily bring in billions by clamping down on tax avoidance that could fund vital services by clamping down on tax dodging."

Responding to Starbucks’ announcement that it will not claim tax deductions in the UK on a range of its tax arrangements and Starbucks statement regarding worker safety, Hannah Pearce, a UK Uncut supporter said:

“Offering to pay some tax if and when it suits you doesn’t stop you being a tax dodger. This is just a PR stunt straight out of the marketing budget in a desperate attempt by Starbucks to deflect public pressure - hollow promises on press releases don’t fund women’s refuges or child benefits.

The government must force Starbucks and every other tax dodging company to pay their fair share, instead of cutting welfare and tax credits for single mums and disabled women. All of our protests are fun, creative with a serious message to Starbucks management and the government, the hypocrisy of Starbucks execs claiming to concerned about workers' safety because of protests is staggering at a time when workers are reporting they are being forced to sign new contracts with reduced benefits or lost their jobs.”

Kara Moses, at the UK Uncut protest in Birmingham, said “So many people have come to this protest because there is genuine public outrage that multinational companies are being allowed to avoid tax while benefits and essential services are cut. Starbucks’ admission that they have not been paying enough tax is a clear admission of guilt, and shows that direct action by the public works. We will keep the pressure up to end tax avoidance and these cuts that are devastating women's lives around the country”

A spokesperson from Global Women's strike, one of the women's groups supporting Saturday's action said:

"Women – in families, homes, communities and jobs – bear the brunt of austerity. At our Women’s Centre we see more women cut off benefits, losing their jobs, being made homeless and going hungry. Already, 3.5m children live in poverty, 1 in 5 mothers skips a meal to feed her children, and many walk miles to get food handouts because they can’t afford the bus fare. Women are also expected to pick up the pieces as services disappear or turn people away, saying they are overwhelmed. Asylum seekers were the first to be made destitute, and this is now becoming the norm. Victims of rape and domestic violence are particularly affected as more will be forced to stay in violent relationship to keep a roof over their heads."

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.[4] 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.[5]

Women are bearing the brunt of cuts to public sector jobs, wages, housing benefit, childcare, and pensions.[6] 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.[7]



Sheena Shah, a UK Uncut activist said "Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of out-of-touch millionaires. 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."

ENDS

1- UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network, well-known for targeting corporate tax avoiders: www.ukuncut.org.uk

2- Go Feminist, UK Feminista, Southall Black Sisters, Global Women's Strike - http://ukfeminista.org.uk/ http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk/ http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/

3- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/9718420/MPs-demand-action-over-Starbucks...

4- http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-britain-starbucks-tax-idUSBRE89E0EX20121015

5- http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/Gender_Impact_of_the_Cuts.pdfhttp://fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/The%20Impact%20of%20Austerity%20on%20Women%20-%2019th%20March...

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

Posted on Fri 7th Dec 2012, 1:09pm
07415 063231 | 07572 594128

UK Uncut continues to pressure Starbucks over impact of government cuts on women

Over 44 protests across the UK planned for Starbucks stores this weekend, as public anger increases.

Protestors plan to transform Starbucks into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters in protest against impact of government’s cuts on women.

Public anger continues to grow against Starbucks, despite the coffee company desperately attempting to distract people from their tax dodging. [1] Anti-cuts direct action network UK Uncut report that the number of protests planned for this weekend have increased since the tax announcement released by the cowering corporation. [2]

Women’s groups [3] and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Portsmouth will be participating in their biggest national day of action yet on Saturday 8th December, targeting Starbucks coffee stores in protest against the government’s spending cuts that are hurting women. Starbucks and other tax-dodging corporations, including Google and Amazon, face increasing public outrage and stinging criticism from the Public Accounts Committee over recent exposes of their abusive tax practices. [4]

Protestors have chosen to target Starbucks as a result of its tax avoidance- taxes they claim could fund public services currently being cut by the government. Saturday’s 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 8th December, three days after the Chancellor’s autumn statement when further spending cuts of £3.7bn to welfare were announced. [5]

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 cutting vital services like refuges, creches and rape crisis centres. 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.”

Responding to Starbucks’ announcement that it will not claim tax deductions in the UK on a range of its tax arrangements, Hannah Pearce, a UK Uncut supporter said:

“Offering to pay some tax if and when it suits you doesn’t stop you being a tax dodger. This is just a desperate attempt by Starbucks to deflect public pressure- hollow promises on press releases don’t fund women’s refuges or child benefits."

“We need the government to force Starbucks and every other tax dodging company to pay their fair share, instead of cutting welfare and tax credits for single mums and disabled women. People are angry, this weekend 44 actions will take place in Starbucks stores in towns and cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People will be transforming Starbucks stores into refuges, crèches and other services threatened by the Government’s unjust and unnecessary cuts.”

A spokesperson from Global Women’s strike, one of the women’s groups supporting Saturday’s action said:

“Women – in families, homes, communities and jobs – bear the brunt of austerity. At our Women’s Centre we see more women cut off benefits, losing their jobs, being made homeless and going hungry. Already, 3.5m children live in poverty, 1 in 5 mothers skips a meal to feed her children, and many walk miles to get food handouts because they can’t afford the bus fare. Women are also expected to pick up the pieces as services disappear or turn people away, saying they are overwhelmed. Asylum seekers were the first to be made destitute, and this is now becoming the norm. Victims of rape and domestic violence are particularly affected as more will be forced to stay in violent relationship to keep a roof over their heads.”

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. [6] 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. [7] Women are bearing the brunt of cuts to public sector jobs, wages, housing benefit, childcare, and pensions. [8] 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. [9]

Sheena Shah, a UK Uncut activist said “Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of out of touch millionaires. 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.”

ENDS

1 – http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/06/starbucks-to-pay-10m-corporation-tax

2 – UK Uncut is a grassroots anti-cuts direct action network, well-known for targeting corporate tax avoiders: ukuncut.org.uk

3 – Go Feminist, UK Feminista, Southall Black Sisters, Global Women’s Strike – ukfeminista.org.uk www.southallblacksisters.org.uk www.globalwomenstrike.net

4 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/uk-politics-video/9718420/MPs-demand-action-over-Starbucks-Amazon-and-Google-tax-avoidance.html

5 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/9725613/Autumn-Statement-2012-Osborne-slashes-3.7bn-from-welfare.html

6 – http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/15/us-britain-starbucks-tax-idUSBRE89E0EX20121015

7 – http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/Gender_Impact_of_the_Cuts.pdf & http://fawcettsociety.org.uk/documents/The%20Impact%20of%20Austerity%20on%20Women%20-%2019th%20March%202012.pdf

8- http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/31/domestic-violence-rape-crisis-cuts_n_2049137.html

9- http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/care/charities-have-to-turn-away-women-seeking-refuge/6520815.article & http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1237
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