UK Uncut threatens Vodafone with ‘national day of action’

Activist group UK Uncut has announced a “national day of action” on which it plans a series of protests against Vodafone, calling for the mobile operator to pay more corporation tax in this country.

Vodafone 4G outdoor advert Yoda
Vodafone has come under fire from activists alleging it paid no corporation tax between 2012 and 2013.

UK Uncut claims Vodafone has not paid corporation tax since 2001 and plans to focus its protests on how the company’s alleged tax avoidance is “crippling the housing sector”.

The campaign group says that on 12 June protestors will “transform” Vodafone retail stores into shelters, hostels, refuges and living rooms to demonstrate the country’s housing crisis.

The protests will come six weeks before Vodafone’s annual general meeting.

Vodafone paid no corporation tax in 2012 and 2013, according to the company’s annual reports.

Vodafone maintains that it is a major source of employment in the UK and that it paid more than £275m in “direct taxes” last year, bringing its total cash contribution to the UK Government to £1.8bn.

The mobile operator says the planned protests are “unwarranted and ignore all of the salient facts”, adding that its corporate tax position reflects “completely standard capital allowances” that apply to all business operating in the UK.

A spokesman continues: “Protestors are picking on the wrong target on the basis of myths and falsehoods. They should take some time to look at the facts, which can be found online at: http://www.vodafone.com/sustainability/tax.”

Since 2011 UK Uncut has targeted a number of brands – including previous skirmishes with Vodafone as well as Tesco, Boots and Topshop, among other retailers – with on-site protests over their corporation tax practices.

The group claimed its first major victory in the twilight of 2012, when Starbucks followed a number of high profile protests against the company with the decision to pay £20m in corporation tax.

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