An Olympic Tax Dodge

If it’s ‘morally wrong’ for Jimmy Carr to use a tax haven, why is David Cameron setting one up in Stratford?

The Olympic site has become the world’s newest temporary tax haven. Instead of funding our vital public services, or refunding the British public for paying for the Olympics, billions of pounds of profits made by multinational companies with monopoly rights to exploit the Games will flow directly into the pockets of shareholders and CEOs.

The Games’ ‘partner organisations’ including the likes of McDonald’s and Visa have a temporary exemption from both UK Corporation Tax and UK Income Tax. According to a report published by Ethical Consumer, Olympics-related corporate partners and service providers are due to make £2.7bn in revenues this summer. They will be avoiding over £600m in tax. Forget Bolt and Ennis, the real winners at the Games are the corporate sponsors.

The Green MP Caroline Lucas:
“LOCOG and the Olympics team have a serious case to answer in allowing the Park to become a temporary tax haven and so does the Government which has managed to find around £11 billion to fund the Games while at the same time imposing severe economic austerity on normal working people.”

Tax campaigner Richard Murphy from the Tax Justice Network:
” We’re giving money away that we need to…preserve essential public services. It’s a scandal that at the same time that David Cameron is criticising Jimmy Carr for using a tax haven, one has been created right in the heart of London.”

Are you angry about this latest tax dodge? Do you want to take action?

On Monday 23 July, join the Austerity Games ‘to highlight the plight of young people in the shadow of these expensive and corporate Olympic Games’. Take part in the Race to the Bottom, Job Jump, Deficit Discus, Hardship Hurdles and more. More info here.

And on Saturday 28 July, the Counter Olympics Network has organised a demonstration against the Corporate Olympics. ‘While cutting welfare, privatising the NHS, and bailing out the banks, the government plan to use the Games to trumpet the message that austerity Britain is content and open for business…We reject Cameron and Coe’s corporate Games’. Join them at 12 noon at Mile End Park. More info here.

See you on the streets!