New day of action against tax avoiders planned

Anti-cuts activists UK Uncut are to hold a day of action against tax avoiders on January 30th, as False Economy launches a poll of the "top ten tax shirkers".

Anti-cuts activists UK Uncut are to hold a day of action against tax avoiders at the end of the month – timed to take place the day before the January 31st deadline for self-assessment. The action comes as the False Economy website, together with the Tax Justice Network, launch an online poll of the “top ten tax shirkers”.

UK Uncut say:

“The government will fine ordinary people who miss the deadline for self-assessment tax returns, due on the day after the protests, whilst companies are avoiding tax…

“People around the country will be encouraged to target as many tax avoiding companies as possible, as creatively as possible. Previous actions have included a ‘read-in’ in Vodafone, confronting cuts to libraries and a ‘sports day’ in Top Shop highlighting cuts to schools sports programmes.

“The group is well-known for its use of social media tools, such as twitter, and are planning training sessions over twitter in non-violent direct action techniques, as well as legal information, and online brainstorms for tactics and targets that people feel ‘have got away with it lightly so far’.”

While a spokesperson for UK Uncut told Left Foot Forward:

“We hope this is the biggest day of action yet. There is huge public discontent at the cuts. We will use a diverse range of tactics, hoping to make it much more involved, asking more of local groups and building up a network

“We’ll be going after tax avoiders – who employ armies of lawyers legal loopholes and dodge billions – while ordinary people have to fill in their returns under threat of a fine.”

The top ten tax shirkers in the False Economy poll are:

Barclays

Boots

Google

George Osborne

HM Revenue and Customs

HMV

KPMG

Philip Green/Arcadia

SAB Miller

Vodafone

Last week, Left Foot Forward revealed that the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph had pulled 38 Degrees’s anti-tax dodging advert (see above) – despite having agreed prices with the group. The ad featured George Osborne and asked:

“Is George Osborne the dodgiest dodger of them all?”

In October, we reported that he was one of three cabinet ministers accused avoiding millions of pounds in tax, alongside international development secretary Andrew Mitchell and transport secretary Philip Hammond. Channel Four’s Dispatches revealed how the Chancellor’s family has set up offshore trusts, one of the most common ways for the super rich to avoid paying inheritance tax, and that, put simply, there will be no inheritance tax to pay on the death of his father – a saving of up to £1.6m.

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