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Starbucks Truro sees tax demonstration

By mwill  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

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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.

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  • shagrats  |  December 09 2012, 11:04AM

    I love the way that Tax has become a "charitable donation" for large multi nationals. I run a foreign company and I have access to all these legal loopholes, but I choose not to because there is a moral obligation to pay tax on your earnings. Anyone can make their company look like its loosing money by setting up a foreign branch and outsourcing servivces, that are a cover for tax avoidance. This just shows that corporate boardrooms are an ethical va***.

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  • toffer99  |  December 09 2012, 9:46AM

    Starbucks have decided to pay a little bit of tax. They're going to get the cash to fund it by cutting paid lunch breaks, sick leave and maternity benefits for thousands of their British workers, see http://tinyurl.com/afplno7 I think Scum is too mellow a description for Starbucks. All an individual can do is boycott them, a small gesture, but I'll be doing that.

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  • barrtribe  |  December 08 2012, 11:55PM

    It's interesting how they are getting slated for doing what everyone wants to do legaly pay as little tax as possible. Probably every business in the country is paying as little amount in tax as they can. And are using every angle and tax allowance etc as they can. Including the average PAYE who claims for working clothes or the cleaning there of, who probably doesn't need to. It's legal under the tax laws but you dont have to.Might only be a few pence but milliond of few pences add upto a very large amount to the treasury. Just a thought .

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  • cornishexile  |  December 08 2012, 9:00PM

    Who is to say what is moral about all this? other than the self-appointed consciences amongst us. That is why the objective law is the best judge

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  • rodwillis  |  December 08 2012, 8:53PM

    We are not talking about law, no one is disputing the legal position of these companies, we are talking about the morality of their actions in times when this country is in financial turmoil, no one should doubt that if these corporations paid their fair dues over the next 5 or so years we will all benefit in the long run, but I suppose that is looking way too far in the future for some

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  • cornishexile  |  December 08 2012, 8:28PM

    rodwillis - not at all, i ensure people abide by the law and only pay what the law requires - not the pontifical mob!

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  • josdave  |  December 08 2012, 8:26PM

    While Starbucks are within the law it does rankle with a lot of people who work hard and pay their taxes before they even get their pay while multi nastional corporations can negotiate with HMRC as to how much tax they will pay. It is the system that is at fault and that needs to be looked at and the tax loopholes closed up. The same also applies to so-called celebrities and overpaid sportsmen who bang on about being proud to be British and don't pay any UK taxes.

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  • rodwillis  |  December 08 2012, 8:10PM

    "Believe me cornishexile" the vast majority do not have the disposable income to give to charities, have ISA's and many cant even afford pensions, but lets leave that aside and I will try again....... our economy is teetering on the brink of collapse so at this time I am afraid everyone has to step up and that includes big business and the banks...... then again I noticed you stated you are "tax adviser" so as far as you would be concerned everyone paying their fair share is the same as turkeys voting for Christmas

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  • cornishexile  |  December 08 2012, 7:48PM

    Believe me rodwillis, there are ways of tax avoidance by PAYE taxpayers - gift aid charitable donations, pension contributions, contributions to ISAs...that's tax avoidance!! There are other equally-legal ways too, various products. If you would like any such assistance, as a tax adviser myself I can help!

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  • rodwillis  |  December 08 2012, 7:41PM

    HHHHHHMMMMM what about the millions of people that pay paye, they have no chance of avoidance, our economy is teetering on the brink of collapse so at this time I am afraid everyone has to step up and that includes big business and the banks

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