Singers protest outside Starbucks

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Anti-tax avoidance protesters outside Starbucks Bold Street

Liverpool Socialists joined an anti-tax avoidance protest in Liverpool at the weekend, singing outside the Bold Street Starbucks in the city centre in an attempt to further “shame” the coffee chain.

Starbucks hit the headlines recently when it emerged they had not being paying any corporation tax in this country. Starbucks UK had paid just £8.6 million in 14 years of trading in Britain, with none at all in the last three years. However, the company has now agreed that they will pay £20 million in tax over the next two years.

Helen Marks, a member of the Liverpool Socialist Singers, told JMU Journalism: “We have come to support the demonstration. We hope again it shames Starbucks because they are giving the impression that they have reformed and actually they are giving with one hand but then penalising their own workers. They know what they have been doing.”

She claimed: “It is bigger than that, we want other firms now to be worried about what they are doing with their profits. While people are really suffering poverty and having their wages cut they are there putting their money in secret accounts. I also blame the government because they should be stopping the loopholes.”

The songs slated the way the government had dealt with the situation. A crowd formed around the group in a short amount of time as they chanted and held up signs. Police were present to oversee the demonstration.

Kris Engskov of Starbucks UK, told BBC News: “We are taking action to pay corporate tax here in the UK. We are going to do what’s beyond required by the law and we are going to do it whether we make a profit in the next two years.”

The anti-tax avoidance activists have staged protests at more than 50 Starbucks stores across the UK.

About Lauren Murphy, JMU Journalism