The Truro branch of Starbucks was the target of a demonstration today, organised by the Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance.
About 15 people demonstrated outside the store for an hour, around midday, giving out leaflets about Starbucks and what the group claimed was the company's avoidance of tax. Howard Newlove of Cornwall Anti-Cuts Alliance, told ThisIsCornwall :
"Starbucks is still a tax dodger whilst local businesses and local people still have to pay their taxes."
Staff at Starbucks Truro confirmed by telephone that the demonstration was peaceful and had not affected the business today. Activities elsewhere in the UK today have involved occupations of Starbucks, turning the coffee shop into a library or women's information centre.
A spokesperson for Starbucks UK head office said:
"Our highest priority is and remains the safety of our customers and employees. We trust that UK Uncut will respect it. We offered to meet with UK Uncut to discuss their concerns and make the protest a safe event for all involved. This invitation remains open."
Referring to Starbucks' recent announcement that it would review its tax affairs, the company statement continued:
"We have listened to our customers and are making a number of changes in our business to ensure we pay corporation tax in the UK. We hope UK Uncut and all those concerned about this issue will carefully consider the announcement we made on Thursday."
The demonstration was one of around 40 organised across the country by UK Uncut, a group which makes the link between alleged unpaid taxes and cuts in public services.