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Protesters hit Starbucks in Cheltenham

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: December 09, 2012

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Protesters took to Cheltenham's Promenade yesterday to highlight the lack of tax Starbucks had paid.

Around 11 people from UK Uncut grabbed banners and campaigned outside the coffee chain about its company's tax avoidance.

The international firm came into the spotlight last week after it was revealed that it had used loopholes in UK tax law meaning it had paid no corporation tax in the last three years, despite reporting sales of £1.2 billion.

Since the figures were revealed Starbucks has pledged to pay around £10 million in UK corporation tax for each of the next two years.

Lindsay Martin from Tewkesbury helped organise the Cheltenham protest.

The 27-year-old said: "Most people we saw agreed with us and thought Starbucks' tax avoidance was immoral.

"A lot of people were confused about why we were protesting as Starbucks has agreed to now pay some money, but it does not amount to the 22 per cent in corporation tax, which some companies have to pay.

"We wanted to raise awareness and I think we succeeded in that and we got a lot of thumbs ups and smile from people who thanked us for taking to the streets.

"We always wanted it to be a friendly protest and we achieved that."

Activists argue taxes that Starbucks and other company such as Google and Amazon have avoid could be used to fund public services currently being cut by the government.

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  • Coingrass  |  December 10 2012, 11:38PM

    These days, ten or twenty million is peanuts. Where were these protesters when HMRC let Vodaphone off paying billions in tax?

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  • Aletheia  |  December 10 2012, 8:04PM

    It's all very well Lindsay Martin trying to harm the trade of Starbucks at Cheltenham but does she realise that the majority, if not all of them, are owned by local sole traders under a franchise scheme in which case the only person to be hit financially will be the owner and not Starbucks?

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  • Takeaway22  |  December 10 2012, 6:01PM

    tishwash - I didn't blame any political party, but as you have stated, it has been around for a long time which NO ruling party whilst in power has changed it. As another commenter has stated, David Cameron's father made his fortune by avoiding tax, now the offspring of a tax avoider is Prime Minister of this country....you couldn't make it up!

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  • tishwash  |  December 10 2012, 5:45PM

    @Takeaway22, please don't blame the conservatives, this tax system has been in place for a long long time and no government has changed it. @beekeeper if you had a way to pay less tax you would so please don't sound like they're doing something you wouldn't dare do. @Andyprestbury perhaps but I doubt the majority have.

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  • CaptCX  |  December 10 2012, 12:36PM

    You've got to love the fact that The Echo couldn't even be bothered to count the exact number of protesters and had to come up with an estimate of 'around 11'. Maybe they didn't want to walk down the Starbucks just in case they were savaged by one of those many big cats stalking the area.

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  • Takeaway22  |  December 10 2012, 11:18AM

    Beekeeper - That's exactly it, they have been paying exactly what they owe (which was zero) in accordance to our governments tax regulations. Its the rules which are wrong.

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  • AndyPrestbury  |  December 09 2012, 10:39PM

    @tishwash - However, you have made the (incorrect) assumption that people fed up with Amazon's approach to tax are still using them. I have stopped using Starbucks and Amazon, so no logic fail here.

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  • Beekeeper  |  December 09 2012, 8:48PM

    Pay your taxes, Starbucks. Not just a donation - pay what you owe.

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  • Takeaway22  |  December 09 2012, 7:29PM

    What is wrong here, in my humble opinion, isn't the company whose business is to maximise its profit, but it's the ineptness over the government who has been outsmarted by company accountants at their own games (and rules). On top of this David Cameron has managed to make the spin to place the blame on private company's doorstep, when all they did was play by the rules of the UK government(s). I think the term is David Cameron has "played the public".

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  • ChorltonHardy  |  December 09 2012, 5:35PM

    When I popped into Starbucks for my afternoon hot chocolate, there were a whole TWO protesters there! Bless, they were outnumbered by the number of people standing outside drinking Starbucks beverages.

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