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This just in: no one cares about Starbucks’ tax avoidance

If you think there would have been some sort of consumer backlash against coffee giant Starbucks for its scandalous tax evasion, don’t hold your breath.

In fact, it turns out that the average Brit – perhaps completely addicted to the overpriced beverages that Starbucks serves up – simply doesn’t care that the multinational company isn’t paying its fair share to HMRC. At least that’s what Ian Cranna, Starbucks UK and Ireland marketing vice president said in a recent interview; Mr Cranna says that Brits have been acting ‘incredibly loyal’ during this trying time for a company that makes more money than you and I will ever see in a thousand lifetimes yet can’t be arsed to simply pay what it owes Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

And let’s be honest here – Starbucks has made well over £1 billion in revenue over the past few years in the UK alone, yet somehow they have only paid less than £9 million in corporation tax over the course of 10 years. Making matters worse is that the company hasn’t paid one red cent since 2009, a fact that sparked outrage back in late 2012 when the news broke.

Starbucks has scrambled to mend its public image in the meantime, making an oh-so-magnanimous offer of paying a paltry 2 per cent of its revenue in tax over the coming two years. Yes, that does indeed work out to some £20 million, but suddenly Starbucks thinks that this will solve all its public relations problems?

Well apparently it’s worked according to Cranna, who stressed how Starbucks’ customers have stuck with it over these trying times. What really is happening – at least if you ask me – is that people just don’t really care enough to do anything like organise a boycott of a company that has no moral centre, especially when they can get a half-caf venti soy caramel macchiato with fat-free whip and an extra shot of espresso, all for the ultra-low price of £4.

I swear news like this just drives me mad, especially considering how the government is bumbling over going after these multinationals for what they owe and instead drives contractors and freelancers up a wall with its ridiculous, convoluted taxation schemes. So there, I hope you’re happy – you’ve driven me to drink. Pick me up a coffee from the shop down on the corner, would you?

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