Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A major win for UK Uncut

It's worth our highlighting an article published yesterday by UK Uncut, with the above headline. We hope they won't mind our re-posting this in full. We should add that we at TJN would probably want to take some credit for this, as should a handful of others including (especially) Richard Brooks and the Guardian Tax Gap team. But UK Uncut deserve huge, huge credit for getting the people out into the streets - and building up considerable and indispensible political pressure.

A Major Win for UK Uncut
Posted on Tue 29th Mar 2011, 6:05pm

Amidst all the news reports bouncing back and forth right now about mass arrests and political policing, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of what we’re fighting for, and how far we’ve come as a group. Today saw the launch of a public inquiry, to be conducted by the Treasury select committee, into the issue of corporate tax avoidance.

An issue which, six months ago, didn’t even figure on the political map for many, is now taking centre stage and, one way or another, this Government will be forced to listen. What is more, the executives of some of the worst offenders – hopefully Barclays, Vodafone and Boots amongst them – will be called to answer questions before the committee about their “tax efficiency” practices. With a bit of luck, Sir Philip Green might even have to explain to his former employers why he felt that the £250m he dodged would be better spent on his lifestyle rather than schools and hospitals for the people who buy his products. The coalition has already been put on the back foot over tax avoidance, thanks in a large part to the hard work and dedication of UK Uncutters up and down the country. The Government mentioned several new anti tax-avoidance measures in last weeks budget, and is even discussing a blanket anti-avoidance law, similar to the one in Australia. This inquiry will ramp up the pressure on Ministers to introduce such a bill sooner rather than later.

Occasionally people ask us what we’ve achieved and what we hope to achieve at UK Uncut. When they do, we think not only of the empowering, inspiring, creative direct actions we’ve taken, of the networks of friends and activists we’ve forged, or of the debate we’ve lit about the genuine alternatives to these unnecessary cuts. We also think of hard won political victories like the one we’ve seen today, victories which will, slowly but surely, bring about real political change.


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