Picture of Starbucks in Leeds.
"Starbucks believes that conducting business ethically and striving to do the right thing are vital to the success of the company". I just cut and pasted that from the Starbucks UK website. Just to make sure I checked the dictionary definition of ethical and yep.. Morally correct.
Kris Engskov the MD of Starbucks UK has written 2 posts on the Starbucks website over the last couple of days to explain his companies position ref tax here in the UK.
"I'm writing today to address recent media coverage regarding how we at Starbucks pay our taxes.
I want to personally assure you that Starbucks pays and will continue to pay our share of taxes in the UK to the letter of the law. We always have and always will. We pride ourselves on doing business to the highest ethical standards, from the way we source our coffee to the way we pay our taxes.
We are here for the long-term. And, are rising to the challenge of creating jobs and investing significantly in our business and in the UK economy, demonstrating our commitment to all the communities where our partners (employees) and customers live, and where we do business every day".
Notice Kris used that word ethical again, this explanation from Starbucks reminds me of certain of our MP's stressing how they followed the rules on claiming expenses.
I could have saved him the trouble, could I suggest that on his third attempt to explain the inexplicable he just puts; Only the little people pay taxes.
All the above is because of a Special Report: How Starbucks avoids UK taxes by Reuters that came out 3 days ago. What it boils down to is this..(Reuters) - Starbucks' coffee menu famously baffles some people. In Britain, it's their accounts that are confusing. Starbucks has been telling investors the business was profitable, even as it consistently reported losses.
This apparent contradiction arises from tax avoidance, and sheds light on perfectly legal tactics used by multinationals the world over. Starbucks stands out because it has told investors one thing and the taxman another.
This is a story that will run and run!
Perhaps you might think what has this got to do with me then I suggest you try telling HMRC that you need not pay any tax next year. I doubt very much that they go along with that. The inland revenue can take money directly out of your bank account , they can take your car , house and its possessions , and your Business. Then send you to jail. Unless you happen to be Starbucks.
Hopefully soon I will be posting a story about UKUncut protesting outside a Starbucks here in Leeds. Can I please recommend that you avoid Starbucks because we as a country cannot afford to use them. Maybe if Starbucks really wants a low or no taxation regime I could suggest Kris moves to somewhere like Eritrea, the Sudan, Zimbabwe or some other place where there is very little infrastructure like police and modern medicine and hopefully he will not be robbed at gunpoint by the army or need a hospital paid for by taxes..
Meanwhile can I suggest that in the meantime till Starbucks really does become ethical that you try one or more of the local coffee shops here in Leeds. I recommend the Opposite Cafe here in the Leeds city centre and also opposite the Parkinson building at Leeds University.
For anyone who is interested this rather nice building is at the corner of Albion Street and Commercial Street in Leeds city centre.
14 hours ago