Press release: UK Uncut and Occupy London to descend upon HMRC to demand resignation of boss Hartnett

Posted on Sun 23rd Oct 2011, 11:24pm

For immediate release
Tel: 07415063231 / Email:
High quality photos/video available from 2pm tomorrow

Campers at Occupy London and activists from direct action group UK Uncut will join forces to descend upon the head office of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on the afternoon of Monday 24th October to demand the resignation of HMRC boss Dave Hartnett [1].

Protesters- outraged at Hartnett's role in approving secret sweetheart deals to let mega-rich corporations off billions in tax- will gather at the Occupy LSX camp at St. Paul's Cathedral at 12 noon before marching on HMRC's head office at Whitehall in an attempt to reach Hartnett's office.

Hartnett was, last week, again dragged in front of parliament's Public Accounts Commitee to answer questions on dodgy deals with Vodafone and Goldman Sachs that cost the taxpayer up to £6bn and £10m respectively [2]. MPs on the committee accused Hartnett of abusing his position to "cover up his own mistakes".

A survey last year found that Hartnett was Whitehall's most 'wined and dined' civil servant, treated by corporations 107 times in 3 years to top a survey of 172 senior civil servants [3]. Tory MPs and commentators from across the political spectrum have joined the call for Hartnett to resign [4] [5] [6].

Occupy London supporter Kyshia Davey said: "HMRC has just announced it will be going after 146,000 pensioners to demand hundreds of pounds from them following a tax code cock-up. Meanwhile, its boss is striking secret deals with opulent corporations to let them off billions of pounds in tax. Hartnett is fatally undermining public confidence in the UK's tax system at a time of austerity and he must resign immediately."

UK Uncut activist Sam Gilbert added: "Whilst 25,000 rank-and-file staff at HMRC have been fired, leaving the organisation almost incapable of functioning, Hartnett has been carving out a career as the most 'wined and dined' civil servant in Whitehall. The money from Vodafone's £6bn tax dodge alone could have prevented all of the cuts in public services over the past year."


Dave Hartnett: Time to Resign

Posted on Thu 20th Oct 2011, 10:13am
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Press release: UK Uncut and Occupy London to descend upon HMRC to demand resignation of boss Hartnett

On Monday 24th of October at 12:00, join UK Uncut and pay a visit to HMRC to demand the resignation of the 1%’s favourite taxman.

Dave Hartnett is the head of HMRC and best friend of tax dodging corporations. This is the guy that shook hands on a deal to let Vodafone off £6bn of tax and who recently cut a secret arrangement to let Goldman Sachs off £10m (then lied to Parliament about it). Following a year of pressure from the high streets, Hartnett's job is hanging by a thread. Even Tory MPs and the Daily Mail are demanding his resignation.

Dave Hartnett is a corrupt representative of a corrupt system, where the richest 1% are routinely allowed to scam and lobby their way out of paying their fair share. Whilst 99% of us pay our tax, super-rich corporations and individuals are getting away with scamming the rest of us out of £25bn a year. That’s enough to save every single school, library, hospital, leisure centre, charity and youth club currently facing the government’s cuts.

Hartnett’s own staff are victims of the government’s cuts. Whilst 25,000 staff at HMRC have been fired, leaving the organisation almost incapable of functioning, Hartnett has been carving out a career as ‘the most wined and dined civil servant’ in Whitehall, regularly accepting luxury hospitality from a vertiable who’s who from the world of tax avoidance: Goldman Sachs, KPMG, PWC, JP Morgan and many more.

Rumour has it HMRC staff aren’t hugely impressed by their boss’s corruption. On Monday lunchtime, we’ll pay a visit to HMRC, go up to Dave Hartnett’s office and demand his resignation in person. (Failing that, we’ll be asking members of HMRC staff to do the job for us!)

Gather at 12 noon at OccupyLSX, the amazing and inspiring camp on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral and we'll move to HMRC from there.

Check back soon for details of banner-making and brainstorming sessions at OccupyLSX this weekend.

See you at the Occupation.

Help make corporate tax dodgers pay their fair share

Posted on Tue 18th Oct 2011, 11:02am

Sign the petition now →

Over the last few months, several people have asked whether there was some useful way of using the Government's new epetition platform to help stop cuts to public services.

Caroline Lucas' Tax and Financial Transparency Bill is made up of two simple measures which could help to raise billions of pounds to offset the cuts. The Bill is scheduled for a second reading on 25th November, but it is not guaranteed time for debate. A large number of signatures on the associated petition will help put pressure on MPs to find time on the day. In addition, if the petition gets 100,000 signatures, the Backbench Business Committee will be obliged to consider it for debate (it was this process that resulted in the Hillsborough debate last night).

Caroline acknowledged during the trial of the Brighton Uncut superglue 9, where she acted as an expert witness for the defence, that "there does come a point in many campaigns where you have to go beyond signing petitions". UK Uncut remains firmly focused on direct action and civil disobedience (and unattached to any political party), but if you can, take a minute to sign the petition as a step towards making corporations pay their fair share.

Sign the petition now →
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