Archive for the ‘Philip Green’ tag
Have I recently stated my emphatic love for young protesters? They have the best energy and creative thinking when it comes to the kinds of protests that closed Topshop’s flagship branch on London’s Oxford Street.
A UK Uncut spokesman said they targeted the shop because it was part of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail group.
Campaigner Stephen Trevelian, 26, from Brighton, said: “Philip Green is a multi-billionaire tax avoider, and yet is regarded by David Cameron as an appropriate man to advise the Government on austerity.”
Philip Green is the ninth richest man in Britain, and he is indeed a tax cheater.
While Green lives and works in the UK, the Arcadia Group is registered in the name of his wife, Tina, who is resident in Monaco and so enjoys a 0% income-tax rate. In 2005 this arrangement allowed the Greens to bank £1.2bn, the biggest paycheck in British corporate history, without paying a penny in tax. This completely legal dodge cost the British taxpayer £285m, enough to pay the salaries of 9,000 NHS nurses or the £9,000 fees of close to 32,000 students. In an age of austerity, the link between tax avoidance and public sector cuts becomes crystal clear.
Here is the excellent Johann Hari on the tax avoidance stuff, in this case by Vodafone:
For years now, Vodafone has been claiming that a major chunk of its business should not be subject to British taxes – that could run to billions of pounds – because the deal was routed through a company in ultra low tax Luxembourg. The company – which has doubled its profits during this recession – engaged in all kinds of accounting twists and turns; they looked set to pay a sum Private Eye calculates to be more than £6bn.
Then, suddenly, the exchequer – run by George Osborne – cancelled almost all of the outstanding tax bill, in a move a senior figure in Revenues and Customs says is “an unbelievable cave-in.” A few days after the decision, Osborne was promoting Vodafone on a tax-payer funded trip to India. He then appointed Andy Halford, the finance director of Vodafone, to the government’s Advisory Board on Business Tax Rates, apparently because he thinks this is a model of how the Tories think it should be done.
The Indian government and Vodafone are fighting in the courts over the billions in tax it is claiming from the company. Yes, the British state is less functional than the Indian state when it comes to collecting revenues from the wealthy. This is not an isolated incident. Richard Murphy, of Tax Research UK, calculates that UK corporations fail to pay a further £12bn a year in taxes they legally owe, while the rich avoid or evade up to £120bn.
Middle class students in the UK are literally being priced out of an education right now, and yet multi-billion dollar companies are permitted to cheat Britain out of tax money simply because they’re managed to bribe the correct leaders into doing their bidding.
It’s enough to make one want to don masks and chase shoppers around a store.