Vodafone has not paid a single penny in taxes since 2011, despite making a post-tax profit of £59.4 billion last year. The company recorded this huge profit because it funnelled its revenues to Luxembourg, despite having virtually no presence in the country.
Vodafone openly admits on its own website that it actively avoids paying tax in order to line the pockets of its shareholders.
“Companies like Vodafone are crippling the UK’s social housing sector,” said Jon Lloyd, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs. “When corporations don’t pay taxes, the government cannot afford things like social housing. The amount of tax that Vodafone owes the British government could pay for thousands of new homes.”
In India, Vodafone sought to avoid a further £1.6bn tax bill. However, the Indian authorities have successfully pursued Vodafone for the money, forcing it to pay up.
Vodafone’s AGM is coming up at the end of July, and the growing discontent is leading advocacy organisations like SumOfUs to take action. In addition to the fast-growing petition, the campaign has sent frustrated UK residents to Vodafone’s Facebook wall, inundating it with posts asking the company pay its share of taxes in the UK.
“The response so far has been fantastic and it’s clear that the public won’t stand for this level of corporate irresponsibility,” says Lloyd.
Grassroots advocacy group UK Uncut are planning a day of action tomorrow in Vodafone stores across the UK, encouraging people to turn their local Vodafone store into a “Vodahome,” in response to the effects of the company’s tax evasion on social housing.