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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Starbucks

What a lovely Christmas present we've had from Starbucks this year! The company has generously volunteered to pay 20 million corporation tax over the next two years.

This is certainly a big amount of money... to most of us anyway. But Starbucks has made over 3 billion of sales in 13 years and yet paid no corporation tax at all in the last three.

Starbucks' legal team continues to insist that everything was perfectly legal and that the company doesn't owe a penny.

They're just feeling charitable - nothing to do with the public outrage and beginnings of a boycott.

What if we all take the same attitude? We could phone up our local councils and say that we don't fancy paying our usual 80 (for example) a month council tax bill.

We won't pay anything for the next few years. But after that we'll be very generous and volunteer to pay 5 a month for a while.

Would we be congratulated for being socially responsible? No, we'd be pulled in front of a judge.

And not only does Starbucks' 'decision' make light of the entire concept of taxes, but the company's bosses have the cheek to try and claw back any losses by slashing their workers' conditions.

They've forced workers to sign a new contract cutting paid breaks, maternity leave and sick leave.

We can't blame it all on Starbucks though. The PCS union estimates that there is 120 billion avoided or evaded in tax by the super-rich every year.

And the government sits idly by. Cameron claimed it was 'morally wrong' for Jimmy Carr to avoid tax. But he and his cronies don't take any real action.

In fact, they and previous New Labour governments cut the jobs of the people who collect the tax!

So that lovely present in the shiny paper with the big bow turns out to be nothing but an empty box.

Sarah Wrack

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In The Socialist 12 December 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out the cuts coalition

Prepare to resist austerity in 2013

Gove goes to war on teachers' pay

Fracking - gas profit dash could wreck climate

Merry Christmas from Starbucks

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaigning

NHS in crisis

Hands off our NHS!


International socialist news and analysis

South African miners' struggle

Mass protests in Egypt against Mursi and his reactionary constitution

Kazakhstan: Free Vadim Kuramshin!

Sri Lanka: Solidarity with Jaffna students


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Women plan campaigning for 2013

Protesting against council cuts

Brixton byelection, south London: We want a candidate we can count on

A very Them & Us Christmas quiz

Great offers from Socialist Books


Socialist Party workplace news

Tesco drivers successfully blockade distribution centre

Striking against 'mock Ofsteds'

Bristol postal workers fight bullying

Blacklisting: 'we will fight for justice in every way'

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

Austerity UK: 'I want to live, not just exist'

Workers will fight austerity


 

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