Crickhowell hit the news recently when the traders of the town looked into the practicalities of “Going offshore”. Big companies such as Google, Starbucks and indeed nearly all companies in the 100 footsie pay very little tax. The UK may be loosing £20bn or much more a year because big corporations do not pay tax in this country because of legal tax dodges.
On 4 April Tax Dodging on a large scale hit the headlines again with the release of the Panama papers this time about tax dodging some of it illegal.
Judith Allinson went to hear one of the shopkeepers form Crickhowell give a talk at Settle Stories Festival (1-3 April): Jeff Thomas of Crickhowell Adventure explained how the (legal) tax dodge works. He also recounted the adventures they had when the BBC film crew took them to Amsterdam and The Isle of Man to see where the companies had set up offices (or at least letter boxes).
The film is no longer on BBC iplayer but you can see it on Youtube.
The talk was held at Settle Friends Meeting House. (Jeff in navy on left)
As far as I can see, a Fair Tax Town is one that adopts the “Fair Tax Town” brand (Download the handbook to see more)… and one that is trying to raise awareness about the big companies avoiding tax.
You can download Fair Tax Town Stickers. Small towns that have lots of small independent retailers (all paying tax correctly) will be good candidates for Fair Tax Towns.
The vision is that every business in the UK will pay fair corporation tax.
They say “The Fair Tax Town Scheme is designed to put us in a strong negotiating position with HMRC, and not to avoid tax…”
He recommended the book “The Great Tax Robbery” by Richard Brooks.
And “Treasure Islands” by Nick Shoxton
It has a graph showing that the small businesses are paying more of the corporate tax each year since 2000 – and the big companies are paying less.
Great Tax Robbery shows rising share of corp tax paid by small companies when their share of the economy remained steady….
He recommended Treasure Islands by Nick Shoxton.
He recommended http://fairtaxtruro.net/
However only large firms can afford the very expensive lawyers etc to arrange these tax dodges.
He showed us a map that has been produced in Truro showing which shops should be avoided because they are dodging taxes.– In fact the Truro site is a useful website.
Jeff Thomas of Crickhowell Adventure – interviewed on Radio 5 Live Afternoon Edition: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06nn5bf
So I left resolved to buy things at local shops. And to buy medicines/shampoo etc from the Coop rather than Boots.