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Chasing the corporate tax avoiders & fighting the cuts
UK Uncut have revealed that HSBC is their latest target after it emerged that the bank is trying to be let off a £2billion tax bill. UK Uncut activists secretly targeted two of its branches in central London and Liverpool.
This follows on from an investigation printed in Private-Eye by the former HMRC tax-inspector Richard Brookes. In it, he states that following the decision by HMRC to reduce Vodafone’s tax bill by up to £6billion, it is thought that HSBC are trying to reach a similar settlement which will reduce their tax bill by £2billion. The current Trade Minister, Stephen Green, was also the Chief Executive of HSBC throughout the period that this tax avoidance took place
In central London, 23 activists staged a ‘sleep-in’ as the £2bn that HSBC will save could have paid for the estimated £1.8bn cuts to housing benefit which will force many to lose their homes. 20 Activists also occupied an HSBC branch in central Liverpool. (Details can be seen on the website http://ukuncut.org.uk )
Emi Summers says “Its bad enough Vodafone got let off, but now other companies like HSBC are all pushing to get the same deal from HMRC. With a current Minister having led the bank while this tax dodging was happening who knows what dodgy back room deals are going on. These companies should be made to pay the full tax so we can save our vital public services from being slashed”