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Dec 4th, 2012

Tax Dodging Poll Feedback

By Robin Priestley

38 Degrees members have consitently prioritised tackling tax dodging.  As a member-driven organisation, official 38 Degrees campaigns are only launched with the support of 38 Degrees members.

Recently over 45,000 of us responded to a poll specifically about taking up tax dodging as a major campaign, and here are the results of that poll:

Should campaigning to stop tax dodging be a major focus for 38 Degrees over the next few months?
Yes – 95.62%
No – 2.11%

Do you agree that although we may target individual tax dodgers on the way, our main aim should be to make the government fix our broken tax system so that it’s much harder to dodge tax?
Yes – 97.22%
No – 1.22%

Should 38 Degrees aim to get businesses who pay tax on board with the campaign?
Yes – 95.33%
No – 2.65% 

Which other demands would you like to see in the campaign?

Other suggestions of demands from members fell into several categories:

Change laws, close loopholes

Shame the dodgers

Publish a list of dodgers

Boycott google, amazon, starbucks

Simplify the tax system

Tackle the avoidance schemes

Example quotes from members are:

“I’d like to see a tax-dodging company blacklist published. The Government/HMRC need to change tax law to close tax loopholes.”

“Simplify the whole tax system to make it impossible/difficult to dodge tax.”

“A clear and graphic demonstration of the correlation between companies avoiding tax and our hospitals, schools and public services suffering as a result.”

“Raise awareness of the seriousness of big businesses versus cutting public services and personal  ‘belt tightening’ – by TV campaigns  and  press coverage.”


How would you like to get involved?

There were lots of great comments from members which fell into the following categories:

Produce a Christmas guide

Social media vía Facebook, twitter and more

Window stickers in shops

Public Boycotts

Direct Action

Example quotes are:

“‘I pay my tax’ car/window stickers for businesses and individuals?”

“It would be great with an online version of the ‘Christmas shoppers’ guide to avoiding tax dodgers’ as these could go viral on Facebook/Twitter, etc..”

“I love the campaign by small shop owners “I pay enough tax to fund a nurse.”

“National media campaign to name and shame extremely rich tax dodgers. Publish the names of major companies who don’t tax in national newspapers, billboard signs, etc. ”

“Creative direct action towards tax dodging businesses.”

“Name & shame them in the news papers they use for their adds”

Further comments members added were as follows:

“I think you should target individual tax dodgers too, it’s crazy that I pay all my tax through PAYE but the rich can just avoid it as they can afford to.  That’s not fair!”

“I don’t want to sound or be hypercritical, but I think we all dislike paying tax. If there’s a way we can honestly pay less tax then there’s nothing wrong with that. However, what I am adversed to is large and wealthy companies who are setting the wrong example, and are able to pay their accountants big fees just to avoid tax. When the country is in financial need they shouldn’t be dodging this issue.”

“I don’t know much about corporation tax, but rather than tax profits, which businesses can manipulate easily, why not levy tax on the gross sales/turnover?”

“Tax foreign companies on ALL their turnover irrespective of where it is earned, as the USA does.”

“Tax avoidance is endemic amongst those people and organisations in power and there is little incentive for them to change.  Set up an off-shore haven to employ all the ordinary folk (contracting us out to our original jobs) and so avoid tax. Then see how fast the government moves to close the loop holes.”

The results of this poll will determine how we focus our efforts on tax dodging over the coming months.  What do you think? You can leave a comment to discuss with other members using the form below.

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