While dodging taxes is a time honored practice by businesses in the U.S., companies that do so in England are understood a little differently. The group UK Uncut is attempting to make a connection between social services cuts and the businesses that do not pay their fair share of taxes.
Starbucks has been accused in the House of Commons of paying no taxes for the last three years. It has been estimated that England lost something like 32 billion pounds last year from unpayed business taxes. UK Uncut is a direct action political group that wants England to think of those businesses when funding is cut from women’s shelters and agencies that help the homeless.
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Ikea and eBay are also guilty of dodging taxes in England, but Starbucks makes an easy target.
“Starbucks is a really great target because it is on every high street across the country and that’s what UK Uncut finds really important: people can take action in their local areas,” she said. “We’re really hoping that women who are impacted by the cuts, who are seeing their Sure Start centres where their kids go being reduced in services, and people who use refuges, [will] be involved.” -UK Uncut
The campaign seems to be working. An organization which rates the popularity of businesses reports that Starbucks’ public image has fallen to near record lows. It may seem petty to take on a coffee company, but UK Uncut hopes it is a first step by the English people to take back control over their own lives. Perhaps, if people in the US could make the connection between the misery of the poor and the apathy of the rich, there could be hope over here as well.