Kerfuffle at tax-dodging Boots – in Worthing, West Sussex, but it could be anywhere …

This was circulated on the Community Action Network mailing list which is a network that is helping link up community solidarity groups around the UK. More info and links to groups in Worthing.

Kerfuffle at tax-dodging Boots

ANTI-CUTS protesters caused a kerfuffle at the Worthing branch of Boots at Saturday lunchtime, November 13, as they drew attention to the firm’s tax-dodging antics.

Five of them walked into the Montague Street shop and started handing out leaflets [see text below] to customers condemning the way Boots moved its HQ to a Swiss post office box to avoid paying some £86 million a year in UK taxes – while ordinary people are made to suffer by ConDem cuts.

It took some time for panicked staff to round them up from the two floors of the busy store and they and others then carried on the leafleting outside the two street entrances, attracting a lot of interest and support from shoppers.

Boots management called Sussex Police, who started asking activists to provide their names and addresses, which they declined to do.

The cops also said Boots was accusing them of harassing customers by forcing them to take leaflets, but on being told that this was not true they did not pursue the point.

Customers leaving the shop reported that Boots staff had tried to take from them the leaflets that they had been handed on their way in.

Around 300 leaflets were handed out in an effective mini-action that clearly left Boots rattled – as did the previous action down the road at Vodafone.

More of these actions will be staged in future. Why not come and join us next time?

Below is the text of the leaflet:


DID you know that Boots The Chemist, that High Street shop with which we are all so familiar, is stealing £86 million a year from the British public thanks to a tax dodge?

That’s right! As exposed recently on BBC radio’s File on 4, it sneakily changed its HQ to a post office office box in Switzerland to avoid paying proper UK taxes and is now handing over only £14m a year instead of more than £100m.

Meanwhile, Boots boss Andy Hornby – the former chief of failed bank HBOS, walked away with more than £2m in his own pocket for his first nine months’ work.

It’s the same picture everywhere – Big Business is being allowed to get away without paying its fair share of taxes that the rest of us have to cough up. And the Fat Cat bosses are laughing in our faces with their massive pay cheques and luxury lifestyles.

This comes at a time when the Tory/Lib Dem government is telling us the country is broke and we’ve all got to make ‘sacrifices’. Thousands of people will be losing their jobs. Vital public services will be cut.

Those who cannot find work are to be punished with what amounts to slave labour or the threat of starvation. Only the rich are to be allowed a proper education with the massive hike in student fees.

The NHS is coming under attack from privatisation. We are all going to have to work until we drop dead because the state doesn’t want to pay us the pension we’ve earned.

This is not a coincidence! What we are seeing is a deliberate attack on the majority of the population by greedy global Big Business and its friends in the deeply unpleasant Conservative and Lib Dem parties. We say we have to fight back! The students in London have shown us the way – we have to make it quite clear to the ruling elite that we will not put up with DAYLIGHT ROBBERY from Boots or any other Fat Cat criminals!

Join the resistance!

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