Starbucks should be banned from stations until it pays tax

27 June 2019

ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, has urged Network Rail and the government to ban Starbucks from Britain’s railway stations until the company coughs up the tax it should be paying.

 

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘No railway premises should be let as retail space to companies that don’t pay the tax they should. Passengers already pay fares – and taxes – and it’s wrong to ask them to subsidise global corporations such as Starbucks.

 

‘This is a company – and there are many others – that makes an enormous amount of money in this country, but chooses to declare its profits in other places. We need proper transparency for tax purposes because, at the moment, the company’s accounts are as murky as the coffee it serves.

 

‘Starbucks – and all the other companies that have shops on stations – benefit from the infrastructure so it is only right that they pay their fair share.’

 

Mick was speaking after it was revealed that Starbucks’ UK-based European business paid a paltry £18.3 million in tax last year, while paying the coffee giant’s parent company back in Seattle a thumping great £348 million in dividends collected from licensing its brand. That payout is part of what the company boasts is a plan to ‘refocus on maximising total shareholder return’ by minimising tax payments in the countries in which it operates.

 

Starbucks has 1,000 stores in the UK, and paid just £4 million in tax to the exchequer despite raking in £387 million in sales.

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