Dec 232010

With thanks to Defend Education Campaign Aberdeen.

Saturday 18th of December saw a wave of over 50 demonstrations against corporate tax avoidance across the UK. The ‘Pay Day’ action was coordinated by the anti-cuts group ukuncut.

Protesters targeted retail outlets owned by the Arcadia Group whose owner, Sir Philip Green, is alleged to have avoided paying £285 million in tax by channeling funds to his wife in Monaco.

In Aberdeen, protesters descended on Topshop on Union Street with placards and banners reading “Topshop: tax dodgers” and “Big Society Revenue & Customs.” The protest was conducted peacefully, with the group singing tax-avoidance themed parodies of Christmas carols and handing out leaflets to passers by.

The so-called “Tax Gap” – tax revenues lost through evasion, avoidance and planning largely by corporations and wealthy individuals – is estimated to cost the Government £120 billion a year.(1)

“If people like Philip Green paid their fair share, there would be no need for these savage cuts to welfare and the public sector. It is disgusting that millionaires can get away with this while the poorest and most vulnerable in society are suffering the worst of the cuts,” said Gordon Maloney, one of the protesters.

For more information on ‘Tax Gap’ see Richard Murphy’s Report ‘The Missing Billions