Protest over Starbucks tax policy outside Bath branch
Campaigners gathered outside a city Starbucks branch at the weekend to press the company to pay more tax in the UK.
The global coffee chain has come under fire in recent weeks after it was revealed it had paid just £8.6 million in tax during the last 14 years.
Starbucks has reported a taxable profit only once since it arrived in the UK and has not paid any corporation tax in the last three years.
Companies only pay corporation tax on profit they make, not on revenue or takings, but the firm has tried to disarm its critics by announcing that it would pay around £20 million in extra tax over the next two years.
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On Saturday more than a dozen campaigners from the group Bath Against Cuts stood with banners and handed out leaflets and free cups of coffee to passers-by outside the branch in High Street.
The protest was one of dozens of protests taking place at Starbucks across the country, with campaigners still not satisfied that the firm was paying its way.
Andrew Williams, from the Bath group, said: “We’re protesting against Starbucks because they haven’t paid their fair share of corporation tax.
“We’re suffering because of the NHS and public service cuts. It’s disgusting this big multi-corporation aren’t paying their fair share. If they did it would make a difference to this double-dip recession.
“Small businesses in Bath have to pay and so should they.”
Last week Starbucks’ UK managing director Kris Engskov said: “We know we are not perfect. But we have listened over the past few months and are committed to the UK for the long term. We hope that over time, through our actions and our contribution, you will give us an opportunity to build on your trust and custom.”