7 Jan 2011


January · 13:00 - 16:00


Location Outside Vodafone at 350 Oxford Street (near Bond Street tube station)


Created by: Aaron Peters, Sam Halvorsen, Gaius Julius Augustus, Bernard Goyder, Seb Sears, Sarah Gibby, Maham Hashmi-KhanShow all (7)


More info Tax Justice Now! Tax Corporations, not the Poor!

Protest against the increase in VAT, and draw attention to the billions of Tax Dodged by wealthy corporations

Meet at 1pm Saturday 15th January outside the Vodafone at 350 Oxford Street near Bond Street tube station - we will be moving on to a number of other locations
On January 4th, the Coalition Government is raising VAT from 17.5% to 20%. Protest!

Tax Avoidance might be legal, but that doesn’t stop it being immoral. It costs the rest of us money by shifting the burdens of tax, often onto those least able to pay.

See Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK on the VAT rise here: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/

On January 4th, the Coalition Government is raising VAT from 17.5% to 20% - it believes this will raise £13bn. At the same time, HMRC itself has produced a report which identifies an estimated £6.9bn in unpaid corporation tax (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11342237), while Tax Research UK has estimated the total tax gap to be at least £120 billion. Rather than employing more people to ensure this tax is paid, the Coalition has announced a 15% cut to the HMRC, resulting in plans to cut 25,000 jobs by 2011.

Bring your own banners and placards or download and print from the resources section from the UKuncut website (http://ukuncut.org.uk/), where you can also find out more about Corporate Tax Dodging and the movement against it. Most importantly, bring yourself (and your friends and family if you can!)

Article continues:

In addition to rasing VAT and cutting funding to HMRC, the Coalition has also announced that the UK’s mainstream corporation tax rate, which applies to the profits of large companies, will fall from 28% to 24% over the next four years (the TUC has found that ‘Effective Tax’ paid by Corporations is actually 7% lower than the ‘Headline Rate’ of 30%. If this ‘gap’ remains, Effective Corporation Tax will be around 17% - “3% less than the small company’s corporation tax rate in the UK, and also less than the basic rate of income tax at which many UK small businesses are taxed… the largest companies in the UK will be paying lower rates of tax than almost all of their employees and almost all small businesses in this country” (http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/corporatetaxgap.pdf))

The worst corporate tax dodgers have incredibly low effective tax rates - for instance, according to an investigation by BBC Radio 4's File on Four programme, "Boots, after relocating to a post office box in Switzerland, has legally cut its tax bill from more than £100m a year to about £14m. That's roughly 3% of its profits" (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/08/businesses-that-dont-like-tax)

How can at VAT rise be fair at this time? After all, David Cameron himself has admitted that VAT is “very regressive, it hits the poorest the hardest … VAT is a more regressive tax than income tax or council tax” (Exeter ‘Cameron Direct’ event, 8 May 2009), while the Lib Dem Deputy has said "it is the most regressive form of tax. It penalises the poor" (Simon Hughes, June 14th 2010, http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/06/15/watch-simon-hughes-warns-coalition-on-vat-rise/)

And, in this rare instance, they're both right - the data shows that "the poorest 20% of households in the UK have both the highest overall tax burden of any quintile and the highest VAT burden. That VAT burden at 12.1% of their income is more than double that paid by the top quintile, where the VAT burden is 5.9% of income. VAT is, therefore, regressive” (Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK, July 12th, 2010, http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/07/12/is-vat-regressive-and-if-so-why-does-the-ifs-deny-it/)

The Centre for Retail Research has found that the VAT hike will cost the average household £425 a year, and the British Retail Consortium recently suggested that it could cost up to 163,000 jobs.

We have to ask – as Richard Murphy of Tax Justice UK has done – “Why wasn’t closing the tax gap the focus of government attention in its plans to cut the deficit, and given the size of potential revenue available from doing so, how can cuts in public services be justified unless this issue has been tackled first?” (http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/06/28/the-tax-gap-why-have-hm-revenue-customs-got-it-so-wrong-and-what-should-be-done-about-it-now/)

For more information see: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/VATRegressive.pdf

Check out the ‘Manifesto for Tax Justice’ here: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Documents/Manifesto.pdf

Or the TUC’s report on the Corporate Tax Gap here: http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/corporatetaxgap.pdf

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