UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 11 February 2013

A spoonful of sugar helps the tax go down...

It is becoming almost a daily occurrence to discover the scale and depth of tax avoidance by multinationals but this latest one I hope makes you think twice before buying Silver Spoon sugar, Kingsmill bread, or Twinings teas. These household brands are produced by Associated British Foods and, in their Zambian operations, have been found by Actionaid to weave a web of tax avoidance on such a grand scale they have paid virtually no tax in spite of multi-billion dollar operations:

And yet Zambia is a country in which poverty is rife with three out of four Zambians living in abject poverty, the economy is crippled by a neglected infrastructure and crumbling public services. Public services which could be funded through tax revenues from the likes of Associated British Foods. It is estimated that health spending, equating to the level of tax that could be collected from the likes of Associated British Food, would save the lives of 85,000 Zambian children under the age of five.

The threat of a boycott worked on Starbucks. Kingsmill bread is advertised under the slogan ‘fresh thinking’. The fresh thoughts of UNISONActive is your tax avoidance is decidedly stale. Pay up or face a boycott.

Anna Rose