Protestors from tax-avoidance group UK Uncut braved the harsh weather to vent their annoyance outside the Vodafone store in Preston city centre Saturday afternoon.Advertisement
A small group-of-six handed out leaflets to Christmas shoppers and chanted slogans such as “Vodafone pay no tax; ask for your money back,” and “Vodafone, tax-avoiders,” to get their messages across.
The group was met with mixed reaction from the public.
Well known UK high street brands such as Vodafone and Sir Phillip Green’s businesses including BHS, Topman and Burton are alleged to have avoided paying full UK tax. The allegations are something Vodafone disputes rigorously.
Beverly Kerwin, 49, from Woodplumpton, Preston was peacefully protesting and rejected the idea of an escalation in actions from UK Uncut including violent demonstrations on tuition fees seen on the streets of Central London within the fortnight.
Ms Kerwin said: “It’s getting the message across to people,” adding: “sometimes you have to disturb people a little to get them to realise what is going on, a few minutes of discomfort is worth it in the long run.”
“It is getting worse under the Coalition government. Once the cuts really start to bite, people will really start to get angry,” she said.
Across the country, demonstrations have taken place in 50 locations including major towns and cities.
Retailing giants Marks and Spencer, Vodafone, BHS and Topshop in Oxford Street, London and the Arndale Centre, Manchester were once more targeted, occupied and closed to the public in high profile stunts.
Sir Phillip Green and Vodafone have come under pressure from UK Uncut to contribute more tax to the UK exchequer but all the companies involved have not broken the law.