February 6th, 2009

Tax Justice Protest Against Guardian Tax Dodging

Tax Justice campaigners had a small demonstration outside the Guardian’s offices today to protest at the hypocrisy of the Guardian campaigning for FTSE 100 companies to pay more corporation tax when, despite GMG making £300 million in profits last year, it paid none itself. GMG took advantage of a perfectly legal loophole to avoid paying taxes on the capital gains made on the sale of Auto Trader. Without exploiting the law they would have had to pay more than £50 million in tax!

The campaigners also highlighted that as well as being adept tax avoiders nowadays, the Guardian’s heritage is one of tax evasion. The Trust that owns the paper, the C P Scott Trust, was set up for the sole purpose of avoiding death duties following the 1932 death of C P Scott. By depriving the revenue of its due, the Scott family succeeded in avoiding the heavy taxes which would have otherwise meant them selling their interest in the paper. Neat dodge, eh? What did the Guardian say about Osborne’s plan to raise inheritance tax thresholds?

It is ridiculous hypocrisy for the GMG fatcats to lecture the CEO’s of British industry on paying more corporation tax when they don’t pay a penny themselves. At the very least they should voluntarily pay the £600,000 that would have been payable as a result of the Auto Trader transaction on the transfer of GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Limited (a Caymans incorporated Special Purpose Vehicle) if it had been incorporated in the UK rather than the Caymans. If they won’t pay the £600,000 to the Revenue, why do they expect other corporations to behave differently? Hypocrites.


Media Reader

All Star Line Up for New BBC Theme Park | David Keighley
City AM’s Kate McCann Joins The Sun | MediaGuido
What Has 57 Heads, 12 Controllers and 321 Editors? | Press Gazette
Where are Brand’s Ideas? | Nigel Farage
BBC’s Biased Drama | Tim Montgomerie
Yet Another Press Freedom Row | Mail
Blair Gong for Deng Dong | Speccie
Philosopher King of Networked Journalism Stands Down | Charlie Beckett
Where Were You When Rusbridger Quit? | Speccie
Expenses Scandal Could Not Be Exposed Today | Press Gazette
Politico Coming to Europe | Politico


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