How much tax “ought” Starbucks to have paid?

On Friday evening Ben Saunders posted a really interesting reply to my post arguing the case for name and shame campaigns. If you haven’t already, you should go read it.

It’s interesting for two reasons. First, because Ben’s been thinking hard about Starbucks’ tax structure and the practical implementation of its dramatic commitment last week. Ben thinks that the tax planning jumped on by Reuters, the Public Accounts Committee and UK Uncut was actually pretty inefficient, and Starbucks could probably have been saving quite a bit more on its global tax bill. He also has some interesting things to say about what the company is planning to do now.

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Why I don’t agree with UK Uncut’s critics

In this post, I’m going to let you into a little secret about tax avoidance campaigners. But I’ll come back to that in a bit.

In a week bookended by the Public Accounts Committee’s criticism of Starbucks, Amazon and Google, and UK Uncut’s planned action in Starbucks stores, the usual criticisms of ‘name and shame’ campaigns have been given an airing. Today I want to address a couple of them, to explain why I believe that the campaigns run by NGOs or by grassroots activists are valuable.

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