Today we have a number of protests at Starbucks’ stores around the UK, demonstrating against the neoliberal coffee giant whose tax avoidance strategies involve paying their staff too much, paying too much to British landlords for their overpriced properties and observing international tax rules demanding that they pay an arms length price for intragroup transactions.
All this is the work of sociopathic and conniving accountants and tax avoidance professionals who deliberately want to deny the UK any tax payments, even if it means paying significantly more tax worldwide. Their accountants are probably Irish.
If Starbucks want to earn our respect they need to stop volunteering to pay more tax than is legally due and start paying the tax that I say is legally due, which for 2013 and 2014, is in the region of £10m pounds for both years.
So, it is right for UK Uncut to boycott Starbucks because they are completely ignoring the UK public by trying to placate them by offering roughly £20m pounds, spread over the next two years.
This is completely immoral. It’s bribery. It’s like they think we’re only interested in their business because we think there’s something in it for us.
We just want them to pay the money that we demand they pay, not the money that they think might be due under the “law” or “the basis of our previous demands”. We demand that Starbucks pay the tax we demand and do it in some sort of cringeworthy deferential manner that involves them backing down in public and writing letters to all the newspapers.
They also ought to sack all their Irish staff as a sign of their allegiance to paying UK taxes.
Until they do this, I’m not sure we can take their open attempt at bribery seriously.