Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Olympic tax swindle: McDonalds breaks from the pack?

Recently we blogged about the Great Olympics Tax Swindle, involving the creation of a temporary tax haven, or tax 'bubble' around the London 2012 games. (Sporting festivals have form on this: remember how football's FIFA forcibly ripped a whole lot of money out of poverty-stricken South Africa too.)

Just days ahead of the start of the Olympics, McDonalds - one of the companies hitherto involved in the Olympic Tax Swindle - has announced that they will not be making any corporate tax exemption claim on the Olympic game activities. According to their statement:
"We will not be making any corporate income tax exemption claim with respect to any activity concerning our involvement with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games."
Three cheers for that. If there is substance behind this statement - which there may well be - then this is fantastic news. We should note, however, that this climb-down occured in the face of adverse publicity from our friends at Ethical Consumer magazine supported by 38 Degrees' nimble campaign which secured 100,000 signatures in a matter of days. Well done both. (You, dear reader, can sign the 38 Degrees petition here.)

The exact details of how McDonalds will allow for verification of its tax claims are not made clear, and we look forward to hearing more from them about this. At least McDonalds have broken from the pack; we now look forward to hearing from other Olympic corporate tax dodgers, including Adidas, BMW, BP, Coca-Cola, General Electric, etc. etc.

See McDonald's statement here.

Read Ethical Consumer's original articles here.


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