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Tax dodgers being boycotted by one out of three Brits

If your firm has a reputation for not paying its fair share in taxes, you’re likely to be experiencing the pain of a boycott if you operate within the UK.

At least, that’s what new data collected and published on behalf of Christian Aid says, which revealed that one out of every three Brits are refusing to use the services or products of any firm that has been participating in shady tax avoidance schemes. Public outcry is growing seemingly day by day against large multinational businesses such ass Amazon, Google, and Starbucks that have been exposed for paying a ridiculously low percentage of the tax they should be handing over to HMRC.

Christian Aid’s survey discovered that two out of every three surveyed now firmly believe that tax avoidance isn’t just unethical but immoral – an increase of 10 percentage points from the last time the organisation tested the waters with their August 2012 poll. On top of that, 45 per cent of respondents said that they are putting some serious thought into boycotting one of these multinationals in the future.

The sense of outrage is strong, with an overwhelming 89 per cent remarking that they feel it is inherently unjust that they’re paying their taxes like good little Britons yet it’s easy for an international company can easily get around paying their fair share. The system itself in the UK is simply too easily exploited by these multinationals, said 85 per cent of those surveyed, and to be honest I can’t disagree with them on either counts; it’s absolutely unconscionable that people like you and I have cold sweats at night about ending up having to defend an IR35 investigation but Starbucks can just rake in the cash hand over fist with impunity, isn’t it?

Joseph Stead, the senior economic justice adviser for Christian Aid, has high hopes the chancellor would push for more transparency from companies in regards to how they go about avoiding their fair share of tax, especially in less-developed countries. Mr Stead echoed the anger in 80 per cent of the survey’s respondents by speaking out against tax avoidance, and he made it a point to say that the UK has to take steps to ensure any multinational based in the UK keeps its nose clean both at home and abroad.

Tax dodging activities on the part of multinationals can cost developing countries a total of $160 billion every year, estimated Christian Aid. This easily dwarfs what these same developing countries receive in foreign aid, which personally I find absolutely reprehensible; if there are firms taking advantage of tax loopholes to the detriment of developing countries in this manner, they deserve to be exposed and shamed for the tax dodgers they are, regardless of the quality of their products.

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