... ask MNers to boycott Starbucks?

(806 Posts)
legoballoon Tue 16-Oct-12 22:44:10

Personally, I won't be spending any money there again.

When I read the 'we pay our fair share of tax' statement, I almost choked on my (home made) hot chocolate. It's one law for the rich, another for us now is it?!

I think we should support small, UK-based independent coffee shops. Let's support businesses that generate wealth that is shared by local people.

Binkybix Mon 22-Oct-12 17:28:20

Finally finished this thread. Thanks all for interesting info, particularly Cinnabar, who I don't find patronising at all.

I understand your points re accounting practices that Starbucks has used, and tend to agree that as well as being legal, this, for me, borders on the 'moral' side of the fence (assuming that they have attributed costs correctly that have been charged to their UK subsidiary).

However, I don't understand why Toombs thinks that people should not be able to distinguish between the two, and make a moral judgement and choose not to use a particular company if they judge that they fall on the wrong side of the 'moral' fence, if not the legal one. That's a personal choice surely?

For example, if I had a friend who I considered to act immorally, if not illegally, I might decide not to be friends with them. They're different things. So long as one didn't force someone else not to use Starbucks (or be friends with that person) then I don't understand the problem.

alreadytaken Mon 22-Oct-12 17:37:46

Absy it's not that simple. The rich hold more of the pension companies and insurance funds for a start. But you need to add to that those who manage the pension funds and insurance companies. In this case many of them are probably in the US.

Cinnabar I've no idea who Starbucks landlords are either but are you sure it's not a holding company with some complicated arrangement to send most of its funds offshore? Could even be a company owned by Starbucks.

If Starbucks went out of business people would still want somewhere to go for a coffee, whether that was a large chain, who may be paying more or less tax, or a collection of small businesses.

The OP said "I think we should support small, UK-based independent coffee shops. Let's support businesses that generate wealth that is shared by local people." Could do worse.

Absy Mon 22-Oct-12 17:44:39

But then, unless they're investing on their own behalf, the pension funds and hedge funds etc. are managed by a third party (so not the "rich" person directly). You might have the occassional person placing direct orders through their broker, but pension funds themselves are largely collective investment schemes, and managed by an investment manager/asset manager, and are often set up by employers, or bought into on a retail basis. If the AM/IM see that they've invested in the stock of a company who is deliberately underpaying tax, and thereby might be liable for more tax/be fined/be subject of a public investigation and thereby be subject to expensive fines or lose value, they're less likely to invest in it.

BornToShopForcedToWork Mon 22-Oct-12 17:48:47

I stopped going to Starbucks ever since I Heard that they used to leave the water tab running the whole day.

merrymouse Mon 22-Oct-12 18:04:52

Already taken, rental income on uk property is taxed in the uk where ever the landlord is.

Of course there could be all sorts of skulduggery going on, but you could say that of any company.

(and thanks for all the v. Interesting, not patronising info cinnabar!)

CinnabarRed Tue 23-Oct-12 06:11:25

BornToShop - Starbucks were specifically told that running water (no detergent) is the most environmentally friendly way to wash their crockery. They spent a fortune on that advice and then converting all of their shops. They don't leave the tap on because they're lazy, but because respected environmental consultants told them it was the greenest thing to do.

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