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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2012

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC congress in Manchester September 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC congress in Manchester September 2010, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Make the corporate tax dodgers pay up!

Nationalise gas, water and other utility companies

Starbucks, Google, Amazon, Pfizer - the list of corporate tax dodgers grows and grows. On top of that it has emerged that gas companies have allegedly been fixing the price of wholesale gas to further boost their mega profits. Becci Heagney explains another outrage in the utility companies.

Among the latest tax avoidance revelations, the Observer has exposed the water companies. Three main providers have paid little or no corporation tax, despite declaring hundreds of millions of pounds in profits and paying huge dividends to their shareholders.

Thames Water had a net cash inflow of 943 million in 2010-11 but only paid 26 million in tax and for 2012 they got a tax rebate of 79.6 million!

In 2012 Yorkshire Water paid just 2.9 million tax on operational profit of 303 million and one part of Anglian Water paid no corporation tax at all.

All of these companies paid their chief executives massive bonuses though. For example Peter Simpson, the boss of Anglian Water, got a bonus of 626,700 on top of his 300,000 salary. Collectively, between 2009 and 2011 these companies paid over 3 billion in dividends to their holding and financing companies.

Customers of these companies would be forgiven for thinking it strange, then, that their bills are going up this year. Anglian Water is increasing its bills on average by 22, Yorkshire Water by 21 and Thames Water by as much as 80 a year in 2014.

People feeling the pinch don't have much choice as in most areas one company has a monopoly and there is nowhere else you can go for lower prices. So much for Thatcher's 1989 Tory Party conference promise: "Once water is in the private sector, companies will...give the customer a far better deal."

These companies assert they are 'delaying', not 'avoiding', paying their tax. They borrow large sums of money and offset their interest payments against the amount of tax they are supposed to pay and also claim capital allowances on investments - promising to pay their tax 'somewhere' down the line.

We need to kick out these parasitical profiteers who increase prices, make massive profits but still refuse to pay tax.

All of the water companies should be brought back into public ownership. They should be run under democratic workers' control and management so that we have an efficient, affordable service.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 14 November 2012:


 

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Related links:

Gas:

triangleNewham gas workers' strike threat

triangleNewham gas workers to strike

triangleBritish Gas workers need rank-and-file leadership

triangleRonan Point disaster 50 years on

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Tax:

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleSalford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

Pay:

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

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Water:

triangleGoing viral: Socialist comments and letters

triangleCuts and climate change cause floods

Nationalise:

triangleNationalise British Airways to stop 12,000 redundancies

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