Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
Last Wednesday UK Uncut Legal action won the right to challenge the legality of the ‘sweetheart’ deal between HMRC and Goldman Sachs, which saw the banking giant avoid paying £20 million in tax. The judge agreed that UK Uncut had ‘an arguable case’ and that it was in the public interest for the deal to be judicially reviewed.
This is an important victory for all those campaigning against the systemic nature of corporate tax-avoidance. An estimated $11 trillion is stashed away in tax havens by the world’s richest (more like the 0.001 per cent than the 1 per cent) to avoid paying tax to national governments. Indeed the Goldman Sachs tax deal is a tiny drop in the ocean of corporate tax avoidance, as a new film produced by UK Uncut’s Daniel Garvin about the impact of the cuts and the alternative shows.
The Missing Billions is a 24-minute documentary interposing hard-hitting facts and figures of tax evasion and the UK coalition government’s cuts with narratives from those affected – from a disabled campaigner describing the devastating reality of cuts for the most vulnerable to those fighting to save public services in their communities. It underlines the unpalatable reality of living in a society governed by a political elite that spends £850 billion bailing out the banks and then forces the public to pay for it.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The Missing Billions highlights both the very real alternative and the struggle that is being fought against the cuts. It demonstrates how, if there was the will from the political elite, there is certainly a way to avoid cuts to public services. In the film John Christensen, of the Tax Justice Network, explains how tax havens represent a fundamental contradiction of globalised capitalism – whilst corporations and the finance industry operate in a deregulated global economy, tax systems are enforced nationally. Thus, multinational companies gain ever increasing profits whilst paying ever diminishing tax bills. In just 24 minutes this film outlines how rather than imposing austerity governments could crack down on tax avoidance and evasion.
The outcome of UK Uncut’s legal case against the £20 million tax avoidance of Goldman Sachs will set a precedent for future legal action against tax evasion. To understand the significance of this case everyone should watch this brilliant new film.
You can watch The Missing Billions here http://vimeo.com/44017057
Visit www.ukuncutlegalaction.org.uk to read more about the campaign, donate to support their legal costs or to order hard copy DVDs of the film.
Deregulation and tax loopholes are justified by saying that they 'protect growth'. But really, they just protect the wealthy, writes James Fox
Inequality is often treated as a law of nature - but really, it's the result of conscious political choices. It's time to choose equality, writes the IPPR's Carys Roberts.
Tom Palmer, aka Agent Kingfisher, was the 'messiah' of London's squatting scene until his death last year. But who was responsible for his fate? MI5, late capitalism or simply a drug overdose? Matt Broomfield investigates.
'Docs Not Cops' write that we must resist attempts to make our NHS any less universal
Louis Mendee explains the real human costs of climate change for the global south.
From climate change to automation to demographic shifts, Mathew Lawrence explains the challenges our economy will face in the coming decade.
Fifty years after the Abortion Act, women are still dying from being denied basic services, write activists from Feminist Fightback
We need to tackle the patronising ideology that lets Tory think-tanks sneer at social tenants, writes Emma Dent Coad
Acid Corbynism allows people to imagine a future beyond the paltry offerings of capitalism, writes Keir Milburn
'We wanted to use a shared love of the beautiful game to stand in solidarity with those living under occupation', writes Kate Hadley.
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny
Meet the digital feminists
We're building new online tools to create a new feminist community and tackle sexism wherever we find it, writes Franziska Grobke
The Marikana women’s fight for justice, five years on
Marienna Pope-Weidemann meets Sikhala Sonke, a grassroots social justice group led by the women of Marikana
Forget ‘Columbus Day’ – this is the Day of Indigenous Resistance
By Leyli Horna, Marcela Terán and Sebastián Ordonez for Wretched of the Earth
Uber and the corporate capture of e-petitions
Steve Andrews looks at a profit-making petition platform's questionable relationship with the cab company
You might be a centrist if…
What does 'centrist' mean? Tom Walker identifies the key markers to help you spot centrism in the wild
Black Journalism Fund Open Editorial Meeting in Leeds
Friday 13th October, 5pm to 7pm, meeting inside the Laidlaw Library, Leeds University
This leadership contest can transform Scottish Labour
Martyn Cook argues that with a new left-wing leader the Scottish Labour Party can make a comeback
Review: No Is Not Enough
Samir Dathi reviews No Is Not Enough: Defeating the New Shock Politics, by Naomi Klein
Building Corbyn’s Labour from the ground up: How ‘the left’ won in Hackney South
Heather Mendick has gone from phone-banker at Corbyn for Leader to Hackney Momentum organiser to secretary of her local party. Here, she shares her top tips on transforming Labour from the bottom up
Five things to know about the independence movement in Catalonia
James O'Nions looks at the underlying dynamics of the Catalan independence movement
‘This building will be a library!’ From referendum to general strike in Catalonia
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte report from the Catalan general strike, as the movements prepare to build a new republic
Chlorine chickens are just the start: Liam Fox’s Brexit trade free-for-all
A hard-right free marketer is now in charge of our trade policy. We urgently need to develop an alternative vision, writes Nick Dearden
There is no ‘cult of Corbyn’ – this is a movement preparing for power
The pundits still don’t understand that Labour’s new energy is about ‘we’ not ‘me’, writes Hilary Wainwright
Debt relief for the hurricane-hit islands is the least we should do
As the devastation from recent hurricanes in the Caribbean becomes clearer, the calls for debt relief for affected countries grow stronger, writes Tim Jones