February 19, 2018


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

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The Housing Wonderland by Ian Lewis -

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Will STPs finally wreck the NHS? -

Sunday, June 18, 2017

STPs – A new way to wreck the NHS -

Friday, February 17, 2017

Why We Should All Boycott Amazon & Google!!

Amazon and Google think that an effective tax rate of less than 0.1% in the UK is fine because they are complying with all the UK tax regulations. In fact, they are practising what is termed ‘aggressive tax planning’, which means that highly-paid accountants – the usual Big 4 suspects – create schemes that are within the tax laws. This may be legally acceptable, but it is morally wrong.

Previously ( http://bit.ly/ZmAFOf ), I have questioned whether there is the political will to collect tax on loans deliberately taken out by companies to make the interest tax deductible. In the case of Amazon, Google and no doubt others, we are asked to believe they do not sell anything in the UK, because it is invoiced from another country!!

Amazon, officially for tax purposes, sells everything from Luxembourg and Google sells everything from Ireland, and both countries have a lower Corporation Tax than the UK, much lower.

The reality is that in 2012, Amazon told investors they had UK sales of £4.2 billion, and their last published accounts showed that they paid £3.2 million tax. The figures for Google show UK sales of £3.2 billion, and paid tax of £3.4 million. Corporation Tax is 23% for this year, less than in previous years as the Government reduces the rate to incentivise business!! At best, the tax paid is 0.1% of sales, and we haven’t even asked the question of VAT. Amazon pays VAT in Luxembourg at 3%!!

The effect of increasing aggressive tax planning is that the burden of taxation is increasingly falling on a smaller number of companies and individuals. It is also true that UK companies that sell books on-line, such as Foyles and Waterstones, are at a competitive disadvantage to Amazon because they have to pay tax. Currently Amazon has 41% of the on-line market for printed books, and even more for e-books. There is a good argument that Amazon is a monopoly, and should therefore be broken up.

Google do not sell direct to the public but dominate the search engine market. However, they make their money by selling Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. If the 99% was to stop clicking on the ads then Google might think again about paying tax.

The decreasing tax base affects everyone, since either other taxes, such as VAT, increase or there is a reduction in services such as education, health, welfare, pensions etc. The UK Government’s own figures show that £35 billion of tax a year is avoided or evaded. If this tax was collected, then austerity would just be a word in the dictionary!

As the Government hasn’t got the political will to collect tax, it is up to the 99% to provide that political will. If Amazon and Google maintain they have no sales in the UK, then we should ensure that this becomes a proven fact; Don’t Buy From Amazon & Don’t Click on Google Ads.

Michael Gold,





5 Responses to “Why We Should All Boycott Amazon & Google!!”
  1. Dave says:

    So what I do to find or get reviews of a book is often to use Amazon. Then I find an independent supplier on Amazon or Google Shopping and make a note. Then I delete my cookies for the last hour. Then buy direct from the supplier.
    If you want more about how the internet is impoverishing & spying on many people Jaron Lanvier ‘Who owns the future?’ is very good imo tho’ I don’t think he’s got more than a partial solution yet.

  2. Tom Lines says:

    Instead of Google, I now use the Blekko.com search engine as much as possible. Its coverage isn’t yet as wide as Google’s, but it doesn’t spy on you either.

    I have also installed ‘noscript’ and ‘ghostery’: two simple but seemingly effective programs to stop Google and many, many others from following you around. Noscript enables you to block ‘scripts’ from Google, Facebook and many, many others. If you haven’t approved of a website, you may have to press a button or two to enable it to work properly, but that isn’t much of a hassle. To see the video on this page, I had to enable ytimg.com, for example. It will be blocked again as soon as I delete the site.

    Ghostery tells me it has blocked three ‘trackers’ on this page: Facebook Connect, Google +1 and Google Analytics. Altogether it has blocked 1,000 or more trackers on my computer. And that’s just in a few days!

  3. Peter Dombi says:

    That tactic might work for retailers, but they’re only the thin end of the tax-avoidance wedge. What are consumers supposed to do about tax-avoiding companies that have no retail operation, companies that sell to the governement (like Capita and Sodexo), or tax avoiders where the consumer HAS to buy their product (eg the Water Companies)? Consumer boycotts are a nice idea but nothing will really change until the government changes legislation.

  4. Damien Quigg says:

    I just don’t understand why people have continued to support companies like Amazon, despite what they have been up to. There are a number of ways big multi national corporations such as Amazon, Google, Boots, eBay, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and all the others who are artificially registering their head office in overseas secrecy jurisdictions for the sole purpose of avoiding paying corporation tax in the nations where their profits are being made, there just isn’t the political will to introduce them.

    A mass boycott of these corporations would be effective in persuading them to change their ways, but there just isn’t the appetite for such action by the majority of the public. In response, a new group has been setup for UK residents who are concerned about the way our political system is unrepresentative and does not meet the needs of it’s citizens. The purpose of the group is to provide a platform for people to get together to discuss, debate, design & build a better, fairer, more democratic UK society, where everyone will be given an equal chance to prosper.

    Group meetings will be held online as webinars and the first meeting is taking place this coming Monday 27th July at 8pm. Anyone who is UK resident and wants to be a part of building a better, fairer UK society can join the group by sending an email to redesigndemocracy@yahoo.co.uk

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