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Your ideas for striking adverts against tax dodging?

September 29th, 2010 by

The results are in and together we’ve decided to campaign for a crack down on tax dodgers. All public services are facing slashes to their budgets, so 38 Degrees members want to know how the government can let £42 billion a year slip away so easily.

We’ve just launched our petition Crack down on Tax Dodgers to pile the pressure on George Osborne to make sure everyone pays their fair share. But that’s just the first step. Next week, we’re going to start work on hard-hitting adverts to publicly shame the Chancellor into taking real action, so everywhere Osborne goes he’ll be asked “what are you doing to stop tax dodgers?”

So, we need to start collecting everybody’s ideas for the adverts that we could put into newspapers over the next few weeks. Please share ideas here: what’s the best way for us to get our message across clearly? Are there suggestions for a slogan, or an image that we should use? And which newspapers do you think we should concentrate on? What do you think?

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  • Grainne

    I am graphic arts student and was given a choice of projects last week, the one i chose was to make a propaganda/political poster/direct action advertising, on what i think of the cuts and what i would do if it was in my hands, all i have so far relating to the tax dodging is a big slogan saying “What a pair of bankers!” and a picture of david cameron and nick clegg above it :) then i was planning on maybe some little line silhouettes of bankers shaking hands and passing over money for the background, just an idea though

    havent got very far with project as my tutor isnt very inspiring and doesnt seem to support any of my views

    cant wait to hear other peoples ideas :) as would love to be able to develop something on this topic for my poster

  • Simon

    It's not just super-rich individuals that this campaign should focus on – it's the twilight world of semi-legal tax avoidance by multinational corporations (just Google “tax avoidance through transfer pricing” for some examples of research in this area). The sums involved massively exceed tax avoidance/evasion by individuals. Some of the figures at the end of this article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/11/taxavoidance-tax) say so much just by themselves that there might be some mileage in using them graphically, along with objects they relate to – and there are, unfortuantely, many thousands other equally shocking and bizarre real-world examples.

  • Jon

    Grainne – it can be difficult to get an 'offensive' message off the ground, especially if it involved newspaper/billboard advertising – it just won't be accepted. But your idea might work well for a viral campaign e.g. a funny Flash animation that people will want to link to (see the success of the NSFW Tippex campaign as an example).

    I was going to mention the Tax Justice Network, as they've been banging the tax drum for years AFAIK – and thankfully they're also bang up to date, mentioning the 38d petition (http://taxjustice.blogspot.com/).

  • Jon

    In terms of campaign ideas, I think we need detailed numbers to surprise people. £42bn a year – that's a good start. What is the avoidance sum from the top ten FTSE companies? Top 30? We could have a set of logos on one side, the avoidance sum in the middle, and a sample list of the things that we could pay for if the tax had been fairly paid. Such as:

    This would pay for all of: 30 hospitals, 1000 nurse training places, 500 doctors, a 10% reduction in class sizes – and illustrate all of these with pictorials. Or maybe a dot-matrix supermarket-style till receipt?

    Not sure how 38d feel about the legal position of using company logos – it's bound to annoy the multinationals, but that's the whole point! Greenpeace did it with BP, of course – and Private Eye do it all the time – so it should be OK.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisjords Chris Jordan

    ActionAid did something similar about a year ago – and got loads of great ideas from campaigners.

    Have a squizz at the slide share in this blog post: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/102019/blog.html?article=803 …hopefully it should spark a further wave of creativity!

  • Guest

    Comparisons: Benefit cheat earning an extra £25 – £50 to pay for nappies and electric bill, or kid's Christmas presents, or to pay for transport to take Grannie to hospital . Tax cheat evading £thous, £10-thous, £100-thous to pay for a night at a top lap-dancing club, or a new swimming pool and Porsche, a 5* luxury round-the-world trip, or holiday home in the South of France!!!!

  • Ffinlo

    Imagine if you wanted to avoid paying VAT on the latest DV. Imagine if you paid a lawyer in New York to buy you the DVD. Imagine if you made the trip to New York simply to watch the DVD. That would be considered irrational. But the reality is that many of the companies you shop at take absurd steps to avoid paying their tax. By transferring household brands to holding companies in low tax countries; by putting their debts in British companies and their profits in overseas companies; by creating complex and opaque corporate structures in countries to whom nothing is sold and by registering their ships in countries never visited. Shop here? We pay tax. Trade here? You pay tax. Absurdity has never been so taxing.

  • CAR

    Related issue/campaign: Christian Aid are writing to four of the biggest firms in the FTSE100 to try to gain support for a change in law which means that all companies have to declare their income made in each country, and pay tax on it in each country.

    If you're interested: for more info, and to write to the “FTSE 4″, go to: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/trace-the-tax/index.aspx

  • Rodney Compton

    The whole issue of money is spurious and will never be resolved by tinkering around the margins of tax or no tax. All material problems stem from a spiritual basis – not the sort of airy-fairy stuff you get in church and in ashrams etc. The fundamentals of the worth of one's being preclude the importance of money. Most people are in servitude to money (wage slavery). Those with wealth, generally worship it and therefore are enslaved in that way. It is a spiritual problem and the first steps in freeing the bondage of money it to look within. Does the man with cancer or the woman with the nervous breakdown think of wealth. Does the rich man who's child is on drugs, or dead from a car accident consol himself with money! No, they look within and say, 'oh God why me – why me God' I would suggest a good starting point is that people adopt the only healthy philosophy there is towards money, that, enough is enough. Try to abandon the subjectivity nurtured since childhood and grow up. Look around and see the need of others and do some good in the world. The Greeks knew this several thousand years ago – give away all that you have, so that you might recieve, translated into the Christian (cast thy bread upon the waters). So instead of worrying about who pays what, in a subjectively motivated way, look at what it is that we can give back to the world, and to the least expectant and most needy causes, that inevitably are to be found closest to us.

  • Stephenweedon

    I wonder if any one will read this

    I think you are totally wrong on this one.
    First you should understand the difference on tax avoidance and tax evasion.
    The ” billionaires, bankers and media moguls” you think are going to solve all our problems don't need to evade tax they use the tax rules to minimise their tax legally. The people who break the law in their thousands are the small companies , tradesmen and women who can charge goods and services for cash and keep this income totally “off the books”. This includes shop owners, electricians, builders,plumbers, carpenters, boot fair people etc etc. Probably the very same people that you want to support your campaign. There does seem to be a feeling by the politics of the left that taking money from the rich will solve all our problems, the fact is that if we took every penny they had and then spread it around we would all be a little richer by a few hundred of pounds. That is it, a one off gain and then back to the beginning to try and blame someone else. We need to live within the countries means and that entails cutting the public services, quangoes, politicians etc etc.
    What your organisation should be working towards is to ensure that it is not just the front line workers in the public services that are cut. With the last Labour government thousands of managers and consultant jobs were created, these need to be cut first. Unfortunately the bosses and those at the top of the tree in the public services always seem to remain untouched. An example is the MOD for every active foot soldier I think we have nearly 10 mod staff but it will be the regiments that will be cut first. This is mirrored across the whole public sector. 1 person collects the rubbish, 10 people work in the offices.
    Of course we could all work for the public services, get over the average salary, better pensions, take more time off sick and work less productively. But the offices we would be working in would have the doors broken the lights out and be flooded with water leaks.
    Personally I am feed up with paying for 5 or 6 people climbing on my back. Saving money does not need to target just front line services but those opposed to any savings always mention the nurses, firemen , dustmen etc etc, they never mention the thousands of made up jobs in the public sector

    Westminster City Council
    “Assistant Media Officer
    Target salary £22,920 – £24,156 pa
    Benefits: – Generous annual leave – Interest free season ticket loan – Excellent pension scheme – Staff discount card.
    I cant afford generous holidays, I don't get interest free loans and I cant afford a pension but then again I don't work for the public services

    In a period when we all need to make cuts are jobs like the one really needed ?????????????????????????????????????????????

    So my suggestion for an advert would be:

    ” Get a job in the private sector or become self employed and be happy that you will be blamed for creating this countries wealth and have the pleasure in knowing you are supporting 5 or 6 useless buggers on your back, you know it makes sense.”

  • Rodney Compton

    a man with a sense of irony

  • Lambretta666

    It is written into Americas constitution that it is illegal to pay tax on labour.The law says in america that tax should only be paid on trade.So why are we paying tax?I dont agree with paying any tax full stop.SLAVES pay taxes.How about the banking practice of fractional reserve banking?Where banks create money out of thin air and charge interest on it?The world is in a financial meltdown because of the bankers-NOT because of tax dodgers.The bank of engalnd is a privately owned bank-just like the federal reserve is in America.How about a petition aganst the international bankers who steal every day from every human on the planet.These guys print money out of thin air and charge interest on it.So that means there will always be more owed than there is in circulation.It is this very reason that the national debt keeps going up.And we are taxed to cover our share of the national debt.So basically you work 3 months of the year to line the pockets of the richest and most powerfull people on the planet-how do you think they became so rich and powerfull in the first place?The UK government borows money from the bank of england to run the country-which has to be paid back with interest,so you then get taxed to cover the interest on those loans.We are all being scammed folks.This is the reason why I will NOT be signing this petition.HOO-RAA to the tax dodgers!!!!

  • Lambretta666

    I couldnt agree more.

  • Avalon16

    I think 38 Degrees should try to mobilise 'everyman' in its campaign to make the government listen to us. Campaigners should also target newspapers such as the Telegraph and the Daily Mail, which often present a skewed version of reality to their readers.
    Two burning issues spring to mind; firstly, benefits 'scroungers' and secondly, public sector employees, who, apparently, earn much more than 'ordinary' folk and have better working conditions.
    I will start with the second point, for reasons which will become apparent. I am a public sector employee who, depending on my workload for the week, can earn as little as £2 an hour because of the nature of my job, which often throws up 'emergency' situations, with which I am expected to deal. My contract stipulates that I am expected to work evenings and weekends, as my employer feels necessary. I have to use my own car when undertaking tasks and this might as well be a taxi, as I am also expected to transport 'service-users' around. My car is 16 years old, but I wouldn't replace it – even if I could afford to – as I'm sure people can imagine how it looks at the end of a working day… So while some Daily Mail readers might know public sector employees living a life in clover, there' no 'fat-cat', well-paid, easy, clean, '9 to 5' for me…
    On the issue of benefit scroungers, I have recently been diagnosed with cancer (for the second time since 2004). I am currently receiving SSP, but when that runs out, I will have to apply for benefits. Will I be fortunate to be considered for assistance? Last time I tried to claim benefits, I was told that after calculations, it was decided I might get somewhere in the region of £28 a week. I asked how I was expected to live on that and was told: 'It's what government guidelines tell us to pay you. It's not what you need to exist – it's what you need to subsist.'
    Maybe this time, I'll be told: 'Sorry; there's no more money for people who can't work'. Do I deserve to be homeless and destitute because I haven't been able to amass a pot of savings on which I can draw? I don't think so. I've worked all my life and paid tax and insurance. But because I don't have a trust fund, come from a wealthy background, or been fortunate to marry into money, presumably Mr Osborne feels I should take my chances with all the other 'wasters' he's going to target with his cuts. But he's punishing the wrong people.
    Why start at the top and not the bottom? Because £42 billion would go a long way to making life easier for the sick, elderly and other people (genuinely) unable to work. We know there are bogus claimants – we can rely on the Mail to tell us about them. But why is the government allowing a form of fraud which it seems to have condoned? Because it's easier to bash the little man, rather than take on wealthy individuals and corporations, who can afford to challenge any attempts to investigate what taxes they're (not) paying.

  • Avalon16

    Dear Stephen. It's interesting that you've picked a job that seems totally pointless, for which someone will be earning what seems like a ridiculously high salary. If you read what I've written, you'll see that the reality of working for a local authority is very different. And if you were an assistant media officer for a city council, I assure you that you would earn every penny of that twenty-odd thousand in blood, sweet and tears. Instead of picking the exception, rather than the norm, think about the people who do all the shitty jobs, that you probably wouldn't touch with a barge pole. What about street cleaners, rat catchers and other auxiliary staff? You may not think they do as crucial a job as a nurse or a fireman, but you'd soon notice if they weren't there.
    Those of us at the bottom have no say about what goes on at the top. We have no power and no say in our destiny. We are told there will be 'consultations' on changes to our working lives, but in reality, 'the suits' have already made their decisions. If council leaders, directors and senior managers mis-use or waste money, it is beyond our remit to question or stop them. Many of the so-called 'strategic' financial decisions are government (or local politician)-led. None of the barmy 'initiatives' you hear about are devised by ordinary workers. When it comes to what you might call a 'standard' mis-use of money (I know of a headteacher who employs his useless wife in his school), yes, there are 'whistle-blowing' procedures, but you try it – you wouldn't last five minutes.
    When you're bashing the public sector, try to remember that the majority of employees (outside of London) earn between £12,500 and £14,500 – not a lot after deductions.
    And while I do a stinker of a job, I wouldn't swap with some of my colleagues for £100,000…

  • Avalon16

    Sorry – a Freudian slip! My comment should have read 'blood, sweat and tears'. And when I said 'read what I've written', I meant in my previous comment.

  • Andrew Cripps

    The Root of all Evil – All Money is created out of Nothing

    For Every one Dollar on deposit in Banks – there are Ten Dollars that
    are lent Out Against this One Solitary Dollar – these are not real
    Dollars or pounds but Virtual Dollars/Pounds – that are summoned up
    from absolutely Nowhere!
    This Fact is not even discussed anywhere because most people are unaware of it.

    ONLY 3 Per Cent OF BANKS ARE RETAIL BANKS (High Street Banks) BUT
    these High Street Retail Banks Do NOT Create the Worlds Wealth (Money)
    The World's money is created by 97 per cent of the World's Banks –
    WHICH ARE ALL PRIVATELY OWNED BANKS – Most of these Banks and Financial
    Institutions nobody has even heard of but they do exist hidden in plain
    sight. The Bank of England is a Privately owned Bank as is The Federal
    Reserve Bank in the USA (The Fed).

    Governments do NOT control the production and Distribution of money –
    the Privately owned Banks do. except for VAT Governments have NO real
    power over the Financial System.

    All Financial Services and Products are just variations of the Same
    Basic 3 Card Trick! Money is Created and Destroyed in Vast Quantities every second of the
    = The Power of Compound Interest!

    Money mutates into debt.

    The Assumption of Future growth = Raising Debt Against the Companies
    Share Value (Price) = The Merchandising of money from the poor to the

    Banks never want to see thier Loans Repaid – as long as the Interest
    is being funded and it is to the benefit of the capital to remain

    A 10% Stake in a Property = the price minus 10 % and you've Doubled
    your stake in it BUT IF THE PRICE GOES DOWN BY JUST 10 % – Yo're Wiped
    Out! This Explains WHY a Contraction of a mere 2 or 3 % in the World's
    economy leads NOT to a minute fall in International Stock markets BUT

    Likewise – The Banks lend ten times MORE MONEY THAN THEY ACTUALLY

    The sad truth is that you are NOT SUDDENLY INSOLVENT BUT THAT YOU WERE
    they have been able to Keep it on the Books as “Assets” rather than
    Losses and forestall the evil hour! The name for this is Usery – previous
    generations had much more Wisdom about this and they knew that this
    always and only ever lead to Ruin and Destruction!

    A Simple and devastatingly effective swindle but Largely INVISIBLE
    because it has become SO DEEPLY INTRENCHED IN OUR CULTURE !
    The Consequences of this Swindle are that Countries SUFFER A DESPERATE

    Andy Cripps

  • Rodney Compton

    My dear Avalon16, never overlook the parapraxis – there is so much involved in such slips (and it could hardly have been a simple keystroke mistake). Not to devalue you point or your work, which sounds fulfilling and you are obviously a good person – but it is never about money in the final analysis, it is about appreciation, fulfillment and respect, which is an emotional measure of worth and as all analysts know, parapraxes always flows from the source of emotion and express ambivalence at the very least.

  • Howard

    Stephen Weedon points out that big businesses are able to use tax law and tax havens to avoid tax. As the TJN blog says “Multinational companies use tax havens for profits-shifting and tax avoidance. Small and medium sized companies which are not multinational in their operations can not. The outcome is a massive economic distortion which reduces competition, allows free-riding on public goods and leads to misallocation of capital”. This has been going on for decades and is getting worse. And instead of fixing it the government are planning to load the costs onto us all.

    How do they get away with it? Any government that allows this is corrupt, just like Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, Haiti and Afghanistan, the bottom 5 of Transparency International's 2008 Corruption Perception Index. The UK scores 16 out of 180, but I think this campaign should compare the British Government with Nigeria say (121) or Russia (147).

    The rich and powerful, Ashcroft, Murdoch etc., clearly have a huge and disproportionate influence on politics, and the government's lies that public service cuts are the only option, and the deficit is entirely the fault of Labour, need to be exposed. What kind of democracy is it when the people are consistently lied to, and their interests are overridden by the favours given to the rich?

  • Hogspace9

    Gosh reading the comment everyone seems to think they should raid some other persons piggy bank rather than get their own house in order. Hurrah for ConDem, the dismantling of the Loafer State and the end of robbery (socialism). People don't put out and create wealth to go subsidise other people who do not.

  • Loukaysmith

    What about a picture of Osbourne as an 18th century highway robber pointing a pistol at the viewer (like the kitchener poster for WW1 with the slogan underneath, 'Osbourne, Time To Take Aim At Tax Cheats'
    - Louise

  • Baws

    What? eh? Do you not realise that our taxes fund the killing of many people around the world and the interest on the national debt that goes straight to the banks?

    The people of out country see NONE of the tax money coming back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UALDF3WHFEGLXUM3X3QHHTONDA jdpoc

    A image of three varied successful looking business people at an outdoor cafe in a city centre location, being served by a young waitress, with the slogan “Who pays more tax at this table?” Answer: as a percentage, probably the waitress.

  • Steve Stewart

    Dear Rodney and Avalon 16,

    I liked both your comments because they do address both issues of spiritality and a need to survive on a small salary. I clean the streets of London, but I live in my family terraced house so I don't pay crippling rents and taxes, only my share of the bills that come in, so I consider myself comfortably off on £14,000 p.a. But there are many of my colleages that cannot, so easily..In the present social climate they, amongst many low wage earners cannot see Rodney's point any more than those on higher salaries. We have been conditioned to believe in the philosophy of want and scarcity for so long, that to believe there is another way we are told, is not possible. Rodney , I and others hink differently. So how can we come together to advise on the principle of abundance?

    I favour not a return to previous preindustrial ages, but a slowing down of our rate of consumption and expectancy of progress. Allow other nations to catch up so that their populations can trade on a par with developed nations populations.instead of leading them further in debt.Let's return to a more handcrafted economy, so we remember the value of produce, discontinuing the practice of bartering developing countries craftmanship down to the barest minimum. Is this too far fetchd as a starting point? Have I made my point for allowing the law of abundance to shape our economies? Can we bust or prove the myth that their is enough to go around so long as distribution of resources, and labour, amongst other factors I've shamefully neglected, are managed responsibly?

  • Steve Stewart

    Dear Grannie,

    Although I agree with you I also agree that your “offensive” approach will not take off.Maybe it's just the slogan rather than the image you portray that upsets some It reminds me of the anti-Hitler propganda poster translated as “Millions stand behind us”. i.e. what is Hitler spending your taxes on, Germany?” Hitler is shown standig up with his vertical [backhand] salute while piles of Riechmarks are stacked behind him. So maybe suggest a slogan ” £42bn Where are they hiding it?” or “… Who's hiding it?”.

  • Steve Stewart

    A slogan thought up whilst responding to Grannie could be either;

    “£42bn, where are they hiding it?” or

    “£42bn, who's hiding it?”

    To go with Grannie's images he proposes

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_27KL2JOLD3GND3SRYKUMS2WLNQ Barbara

    How about a defacing of Phil Collins's 'Going Back' album cover, where the additional text is 'to pay the taxes I should have done here instead of going off to Switzerland'?

  • Avalon16

    Dear Steve, You are absolutely right. But years of experience, have shown me that human beings are essentially selfish. Even when in an absolutely desperate financial state, I try to bear in mind that there are people much worse off than myself. Although I'm still not 'out of the woods' financially (this happened when I had cancer and couldn't work), I try to contribute – physically and financially. This includes making small monthly donations to charities.
    Perhaps I'm a naive dreamer, but my father taught me that if everyone did their bit, the world would be a much better place.
    During my life, I have met some extremely rich people who are very understanding of the plight of others and undertake a great deal of constructive and philanthropic work to help individuals and communities.
    But there are a lot of people I come across whose only interest is amassing more and more – whether this be money or possessions. It's not about what they need to live, it's about what they want – which is usually way more than is necessary for a happy or fulfilled life.
    I know rich people who have the 'let them eat cake' philosophy and I know so-called 'working class' people who have never worked a day in their lives, but are discontent and unhappy with their level of benefits, even though they could do something positive and are not disabled or intellectually unable to hold down a job.
    I don't think we'll ever be able to change how people think. Greedy, rapacious people will always want more and it will be very difficult to change the mindset and habits of lazy or stupid people within a generation.
    We are constantly told that life isn't fair. But I think it could be much, much fairer. For those of us who believe this, all we can do is try to make the government see our point of view: that there are ways in which society can work towards fairer systems.
    And yes, there is a price to be paid for all of this, but those in government still seemed frightened of 'rocking the boat'.
    Can we have a decent, efficient NHS? Can we have a fair, universal benefits system, which helps society support the sick, mentally-ill and people who genuinely can't work? Can we have decent, efficient 'social necessities', such as a transport infrastructure, post offices, parks and local authority swimming pools and libraries? Or is this just an unrealistic, utopian pipe-dream?

  • Avalon16

    Dear Hogspace, I know you're winding us up, but I don't want to disappoint you, so here goes…
    Rich people “put out and create wealth”, so why don't they go and live on an island, with other rich people, so they can all enjoy the fruits of their labour together?
    That way, they could recruit and pay for their own police force, build their own National Grid for power and electricity; build, maintain and run their own hospitals; employ doctors and other staff for schools nurseries and care homes (oops, rich people don't need care homes – they have live-in maids and nurses – sorry, I forgot); and finance the building of shopping malls/beauty salons/golf courses and all the other essentials rich people need.
    Now where have I heard of something like this before? Ah, I know – somewhere on the other side of the world, where they found oil – which somehow gives them the right to hold the rest of the world to ransom, treat their 'servants' like 'slaves' and kill or maim people who don't toe the line.
    I think you're having a laugh, Hogspace; you can't have lived and worked all your life in the UK and not used or taken advantage of universal services which, as the name suggests, were meant for everyone's use.
    To get to your child's private school, you may have to leave your big, posh gaffe, situated on a private estate, and drive down a private road, but at some point you'll have to cross a public highway – and I bet you'd be the first to squeal like a stuck… hog? If it became impassable and some nasty little oik refused to fix it. Never mind, get the helicopter out!

  • Roger

    The UK taxpayer is subsidising the banks and banking industry to the tune of £100 Billion, yes that's £100,000,000,000 per year. http://www.bankofenglandact.co.uk/

    And it looks like they are going to ask for more state handouts. http://www.neweconomics.org/press-releases/banks-set-to-demand-fresh-bail-out-in-2011-warns-think-tank

    If the banks create wealth, then where is it??? http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/where-did-our-money-go

    So yes mate, I'm all for dismantling the Loafer State and stopping the scrounging, sponging parasites in the banking world from the state sponsored theft from your and my wallet.

  • Amphibian

    I still am adamant that this was the wrong choice. YOu should be fighting trident and 'defence' financing. Liam Fox said at the tory conference that the trident nuclear missile system will definatedly go ahead. It is £100 billion pounds to be spent pn a totally wasteful, fearful bit of technologythat amounts to big boy posturing.

    Please. It is the governments job to find taxpyers, thats what they do best. It is up to us to tell the government that we don;t want our tax money spent on the instruments of war.

  • http://www.localtraders.com/exeter-local-traders/ Robert Rose

    wow this is getting political! maybe they should slash their own expenses; especially as the EU has just declared it will be upping its party expenditure this year…

  • http://twitter.com/chrisjords Chris Jordan

    There's a great Steve Bell cartoon in the Guardian lampooning Philip Green's tax dodging ways:

  • LeddRogan

    It's about paying your SHARE hogspace, that's all. It's called a 'Fair Society'. You've watched Wall St too many times.

  • pho2art

    Really good idea!

  • city2city

    Images of people leaving shops with goods and being stopped by security guards. a larger image of someone in a suit walking out of a shop unchallenged (perhaps with the lights on the theft detectors flashing) with boxes with images and words – Police service, NHS, Schools, Libraries, Roads etc. Wording – Normally when people don't pay for something they are prosecuted and jailed, but every year tax dodgers steal ……………. from our economy unchallenged.

  • Anna's Auntie

    My idea would be a campaign based on “We are all in it together” REALLY? And have a split page, one half showing the tax avoiders, the other an ordinary member of society and how much they will lose by the cuts. So, for example: Vodaphone (avoided 4Billion in tax by using offshore tax havens – compared to a young student, now facing debts of £30k to fund his degree. Tesco vs a nurse who needs tax credits because her pay is so low. Each and every one of the banks use tax havens (and noboby thought to make it a condition of the bail out that they pay tax on all their earnings in this country). Private schools – with the amount they avoid in tax by way of having charitable status vs state school being closed due to lack of funding…..

  • polly valente

    Fancy a free ride?

    If you're one of x high earners in Britain who dodge their tax, you already are.

    And the rest of us are paying for it.

  • Chris Mohr


    Fancy a free ride?

    If you're one of the x high-earning tax dodgers in Britain, you're already getting one.

    And the rest of us are paying your way.

  • Fooding

    When the rich get out of paying due tax, it is the same as taking your food.

    When the rich get out of paying due tax there is less fighting equipment for our soldiers.

    Don't carry the rich tax dodgers any more. You have enough to carry.

    All the rich tax dodgers have to do to steal from the rest of us is to keep cheating on tax

    Children die because of under funded services in part due to rich tax cheats

    There is one pot of money available for all of us. Rich tax cheats just take from it but put nothing back.

    Watch out for the rich tax cheating thief.

  • Gizbun

    I pay my taxes in the Cayman Islands and that means my wife will still get Child Benefit. Tax evasion: it's a Tory tradition.

  • Benedict Geddes

    “BUT siphoning £40,000,000,000 a year from the taxpayer doesn't make me a tax thief.”

    -The official DWP figure for benefit fraud is £1.1bn (which represents less than 1% of all benefit claims)
    -£40bn a year is lost in high level tax avoidance and evasion


    Or how about a pound coin next to a sheaf of four tenners? That's a clear indication of the difference in scale.

  • Ken PartingtonKape0

    What Socialism? You (and the Labour Party) wouldn't know Socialism if you found it in a sandwich!

  • Smiffy

    There is an enormous amount of waste in local government, especially when ordering works to be done on, for example, local authority housing. Shoddy workmanship is rewarded with high payments. In the area in which I live the regional council is not so jokingly referred to as a 'wholly owned subsidiary' of the largest local building firm. Having discussed this with others who live under different council areas, I have come to the conclusion that corruption is rife in local government. This also needs to be tackled.

    As to the tax loopholes, every one of them needs to be closed so that the taxes due to the UK government are paid as they should be. Anyone who is avoiding or evading tax is stealing from ALL of us.

    Anyone who wastes public money should also be prosecuted and, something which simply doesn't happen at the moment, they should be sacked and barred from public office. I know of one instance where the negligence of a local council cost the public purse many tens of thousands of punds but the same individual responsible for that cost continued in his job without any consequences.

    For far too long people emplyed in local government have considered the public money as coming from a broad back and have not looked after it, preferring instead to try and ensure they get the largest share. I bet these same individuals are also into every tax dodge they can find. They are, after all, in the upper echelons of local government, paid rather high wages (too high)!

    Your country needs you to be honest about taxes.

  • The Insider

    How about

    “BUT pretending I live abroad as a non-dom doesn't make me a tax cheat – in the Governments eyes”
    “No if's no Buts, not paying your tax can get you a Lordship – right Lord Ashcroft?”

    How about

    “IF you attempt to make me pay my tax then I shall leave the country and take my extracted wealth with me”
    “No If's, no Buts, it's blackmail from the rich to the poor”


    “IF you don't pay your taxes”
    “You might find yourself advising Government on how to save money!” (Philip Green)


    “IF you really create wealth – THEN PROVE IT”
    “No if's no but's – the wealth creators are simply wealth extrators”


    “No if's, no But's – payment of tax is for the little people”
    “If you pay your tax then you know where you stand”

    Want to know a secret? – tax dodges are well know by the Inland revenue – because barristers employed by IR also moonlight to give advice to 'tax specialists' – to approve their schemes as legally sound. All of which is totally legal and legit – there is no law against this.

    Lawyers playing both sides – now that sounds familiar.

  • Jessica Goldfinch

    But saying I live on my own in Monaco doesn't make me a benefit cheat.

  • simulatedme

    remember……we're all in this together

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjwardle cjwardle

    Immoral? In my perfect world, my conscience is perfectly clear.
    Cheating you lot out of £xxx,xxx,xxx,xxx is perfectly legal – so my lawyer tells me.”

    As advocacy and campaigning is never done in a vaccum, I see scope to link this 38 Degrees initiative to Oxfam's Robin Hood Tax campaign:

  • Charlie1976

    you should replicate the original with a suitable picture of a suitable person and change the caption to “pretending I live in (insert appropriate tax haven eg. Liechtenstein) doesn't make me a tax thief”

    and then the line “tax avoidance isn't illegal; allowing £40bn a year to slip away is criminal” and replace the final line with “(WE SHOULD BE) TARGETING TAX THEIVES”

  • Thecrellin

    Aught'n we go green and recycle

    “The New Robber Barons”

    With Photo's of who ever you feel is diddlin the most
    Generic ceo
    I do think the trident issue should be persued

  • thesnail

    How about the slogan “Loadsamoney!” with a photo of a millionaire on a yacht with a great bag of cash. Underneath something about how much people like this cost the nation.

  • freedom_phil

    “we are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich, as long as they pay their taxes”

  • Jj_murray

    Stick to the figures :

    “Tax Evasion – £1.2 Billion per year

    Benefit fraud – £(whatever/a lot less) per year


    figures aren't my strong point but sticking to the facts will go a long way…

  • Nhodges 66

    Suggested slogans: No ifs, no buts, tax dodging is a crime

    Want to cut the deficit? Find the real cheats

    Norton Hodges

  • Jj_murray

    Picture of man in old fashioned swimsuit stood in the sea.

    “Off-shore tax dodging should be a thing of the past

    - Unfortunately its still going on under our very noses”

    (2nd picture of phillip green with Mr Cameron with a big arrow pointing at his head)

  • Jj_murray

    Tax dodging competition – winner 2010!

    (picture of green and cameron) with arrow as before then a tagline which says

    “no tax dodging means no budget defecit – are you listening Mr Cameron?”

  • Marie1797

    You could have a busineness man standing in front of a mansion and a jet saying “Pretending my wife owns the Company doesn't make me a tax cheat.!

  • Marie1797

    Have the business man standing in front of a famous land mark in Monaco like the Grand Prix circuit so we know he lives abroad

  • Dhirenski

    What's the difference between benefit fraud and tax evasion? None – we are paying for both.

  • Alanpiercey

    How about a picture of three men (subtley indicating Lord Ashcroft, David Rowlands and Sir Philip Green) sitting amongst loads of money smoking cigars etc. Show the amount of money amongst the three as being more than the amount cheated by benefit cheats. The inland revenue can be shown serving champagne to the three while more tax collectors can be seen in the background taking money from obviously poor people.

  • D Ardizzone

    The POOR pay a bigger proportion of their income in TAX than the RICH TRUE [a box should be ticked here]

    TAX DODGERS cost the government more than BENEFIT CHEATS TRUE [a box should be ticked here]

    another idea Make public the name of the company responsible for the Gov. posters and the designer. Clearly people who know nothing if poverty.

  • Liswan

    people work all their lives to line the pockets of the rich its called capitalism tax dodgers should pay thier way and that includes paying for the sick the poor and the unemployed those less fortunate than yourselves. WE are fed up with the greedy parasites feeding off the poor workers backs.
    The times they are a changing x

  • Liswan

    Never seen Lord Ashcroft running around with his bag of tools under his arm.

  • Johnny_posh

    Who are we targeting here? Tax cheats come in all shapes and sizes from white van man doing a bit of 'cash in hand', the self employed who man who pays himself a small salary and collects most of their NI free cash via dodgy share dividends to Premiership footballers who collect £100k a week in 'image rights' paid to an off shore account. I think a copy of the 'but pretending…' poster but with a banker standing there with the text 'but investing my ridiculous, unwarranty bonus in a loop hole doesn't make me a tax cheat'

  • Bentonbag

    How about “No representation without taxation – if you want to power to bring your interests and opinions into our parliament then put your money where your mouth is and all your taxes into our Exchequer. No one should sit in the House of Lords unless they live and are taxed in the UK.”

  • John

    You ain't seen nothing yet.

    Upto now we have been robbing you by avoiding tax.

    Next we will make you homeless, jobless and starve you.

  • George

    Tax cheats are proud of what they do,
    but they don't like to be known!!

    Who do the tax cheats cheat??

    The biggest cheats let the tax cheats cheat!!

    Who lets the tax cheats cheat??

    Who do the tax cheats pay??

    With appropriate pictures;

  • George O

    Those who work abroad and are in the UK for more days than they are allowed to be in relation to their Tax return should be checked up against the data collected by the airport authorities. I know oil industry employees who are happy to take the money from abroad and also avoid paying tax here.

  • Mark-rad

    Tax is mandatory, no if's, no buts

    Instead of the The Times rich list, have the Times top 100 tax cheats. Name and shame

    Tax laws the rich can drive a lorry through- lorry loaded with gold being waved through customs.

    This is the self preservation society- Graphic of noted tax exiles driving Italian job bus, being waved through customs bus full of gold

    whack a tax loop hole- graphic of a modified whack a mole game

    At home with the Tax expert parody of the at home with the credit expert ads.

    Tax the banks above their base rate

  • Make Wars History

    We should all be paying tax!! Otherwise, how would the government expect to fund the slaughter and genocide of countless men, women and children (1.5million + and counting) in the middle east? We can't expect them to do it out of more bank loans!! (even though they invariably will, lumbering us with the interest on said loans)

    And of course, how the hell would they pay themselves back the money they took to bail the banks out? They surely can't ask the big bankers, hedgies and those in the know who put their money in the right place before the crash (cos after all, they knew it was going to happen, they undoubtedly made it happen) to pay it back, can they?

    I mean, anyone who doesn't pay their tax for these two reasons alone is just pure selfish, if you ask me… no prizes for noticing the sarcasm. Withhold your tax payments under the rome statute and international laws of war, not only is it your right as a citizen of the world, it is actually your legal obligation (see makewarshistory.com for more information.

  • Mark-rad

    What about organising an miss a monthly payment to a credit card of your members choice. Target the worst offenders for unethical trade/lending practices. Target the ones we are most likely to be able to influence.
    Announce that we are not going to pay this banking group this month and everyone doesn't. It will cost us extra I know but it might get a message through, if enough of us do it

  • Guest

    Some will be paying full whack in a non-avoiding country. Working abroad in most of Europe often means paying more. Just try it and see.

  • Pete

    I'm not sure how traditional this would be but I can spend quite a long time looking at this


    Please, if you've not seen it click on the link above its fascinating. I wonder if we could produce something similar, but on the British economy. It could easily highlight estimated loss in revenue due to benefit thieves, as well as unclaimed benefit (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the figure for unclaimed benefit ends up being similar to what is lost due to benefit thieves). It could also include a box on tax evasion.

  • Pete

    How about Philip Green photoshopped as a street prostitute.

    If I make a few quid on the side it doesn't make me a tax thief

  • Sam Davies

    “Annual income £200k. Second Home £500k. £1000,000 bankers bonus without paying tax …. Pricless.

  • Sam

    Smiling photo of Philip Green or someone similar with the caption: “But my workers pay tax so I don't have to”

  • Arthur

    £6 billion.
    Pay as you go.

  • Jerryandfran

    A poster showing a stereotype rich guy in a four by four – leaning out of the window waving – slogan 'Why should he pay tax? He's special!!

  • Iamimmune

    How about “Why should HE pay tax? He doesn't really use public services.”

  • Martin

    Picture of philip green, bono and peter mandelson.

    Caption above
    “every time we clap our hands, our highly paid team of tax lawyers save us more money in tax than you'll earn in your lifetime – that doesn't make us cheats does it?”

    Caption below:
    defecit £15 billion
    cost of benefit fraud £1.5 billion
    cost of tax evasion £40 billion
    Let's clean up the sewer – starting at the end that smells worst

  • PoliticallyCORRECT

    Some interesting ideas all with their pros and cons but I'm sorry to say the target audience (tax avoiders/evaders and politicians) don't often stand at bus stops – better plaster taxis (the gold-plated ones!!) with a message such as: Get In, Sit Back and let me take you somewhere you can HIDE YOUR TAX! or Only Get In My Taxi if You've paid ALL your TAX!.

    If you want to raise awareness amongst the people who can do something about the issue bus stops won't do it – you'll just generate more anger amongst those of us most affected by it. You have to get the message to the politicians and keep doing it until they feel embarrassed to be associated with it. It's politicians, big business and the banks against the rest of us – the battle will have to get nasty before they take any notice. Taking the piss with clever ads will just make them laugh at the futility of our efforts. They are not the ones with power for nothing!! If anything the campaign should aim to make them more aware of how they are abusing their power – WE elected them, WE pay the interest rates of the banks, WE keep buying the products big business pushes at us – WE CAN STOP by making better choices and stop support them! The people have the power but only by taking action that hits them where it hurts – in their pockets!!

  • Jj_murray

    How about “FREE RIDE –

    If you don't pay your TAX(!)

    on the side of the cab.

    Combined with some facts and figures below?

  • Jj_murray

    How about

    “Call Vodaphone and tell them to pay thier taxes” at the end

    with their phone number beneath and a long list of known tax evaders.

  • Jj_murray

    Its nice and visual. Its like when they compare the size of the earth to other planets.

    Present a series of circles at varying scales wth Benefit fraud/budget defecit and then tax evasion (obviously the biggest) compared.

  • Jj_murray


    This man does.”

    Pciture of Cameron and Sir Phillip Green – (don't specify which)

    “Tagline : TAX Evasion Starts at the TOP”

    I think the press would do the rest and the govt would hate any public promotion of NOT paying taxes.

  • ebint

    Do you work for the big credit banks, then?

    All of us not paying for a month would cost us a lot = make the bastards a pile of dosh.

    Yeah, that'll teach 'em to, erm, make money.

    Not really a goer, I don't think.

    Now, if we can co-ordinate a run on the banks – everyone open an account in a smaller ethical bank, mutual or building society, and on a single day simply transfer all of our cash and borrowings to financial institutions with morals / without shareholders.

    That WOULD be fun!

  • Lucy May

    Something that draws on folk memeory i.e. Sherrif of Nottingham and Robin Hood.

    Sherrif of Nottingham taking from a disabled person to give to obviously rich person.

    Where's Robin Hood when we need him?

  • Deerobot

    How about the same format as the BUT if i pretend i live on my own…. DWP poster, but with a “city gent” saying, “BUT if i put all my money in offshore accounts that doesn't make me a tax dodger” or “If i put my business in my wife's name that doesn't make me a tax dodger”, etc, etc. Insert any of the hundreds of ways of avoiding tax, both legal and illegal

  • Deerobot

    Do both. Making the people most affected angry is one of the ways to tackle it…. remember how the poll tax was defeated? Mass action by the people most affected.

  • Picktywitch

    Picture of a large hotel on an island called off shore bank, with faces of mps and bankers, owners of corporations . in the brick work looking out to sea, while in the sea surrounding the island is children and oap, disabled drowning , with a slogan survival of the fittest .

  • Odina

    Really?! How many rich people get their bins and their streets cleaned out privately…And how many rich people benefit from a subsidised private sector?

  • Cheese_butty

    PoliticallyCORRECT is inCORRECT. The ones who avoid/evade tax cannot be appealed to. They are the ones who add just another antisocial deed to the long, long list they'll be explaining away to St. Peter, when the time comes. The Church of England – Tory Party at Prayer? Hmmm. When Jesus says, “Render unto Caesar, what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's”, they have suddenly become deaf! With some of Caesar's cash, we could provide them with a hearing aid on the NHS. Depriving little, old ladies' hip replacements should shame anyone – them? No matey-boy.

  • Kiam Choon

    I like Picktywitch and Deerobot vision for a poster. It highlights the hypocrisy of our government. And lets face it something like 20 of the mps making up this coalition are millionaires.. They either have no real idea, have forgotten or never wanted to know in the first place what living close if not on the bread line is like. That's fine for them but they should understand that not everyone is born into or hard-wired to big moneymaking for its own sake. The rich will fight to save them selves at the expense of the poor unless their is a saint amongst them. And that doesn't happen often.

  • kenhas505

    our MPs should leed by example and stop thieving off us THE TAX PAYERS

  • Cheese_butty

    If you want more than you need, you're just as bad. These people are just much better than you at getting more than you both need.

  • Picktywitch

    Thank you Kiam Choon.

    Cheese_butty do you really believe the goverment believe in the bible, not at all as a passage from the bible, more chance of a camel going through the eye of a needle than a rich man entering heaven, all goverment are rich men, which have never known a normal job.

    I agree with PoliticallyCorrect, don't buy from the big corporations which pms especially have their fingers in the pie of those companies, the usa chat told me Walmart have turned their towns to poverty no local jobs etc, also a documentary, recently revealed it was in the 70s when the big corporations and the fashion got greedy and from this they now control us when the goverment seen all the money comming through they had to dip in to it .

  • murraymcp

    How about a picture of Cameron, Clegg, Osbourne, etc standing together and the byline:
    Header: PAY LESS TAX on your salary – ASK ME HOW
    Sub: Inherit £illions, then return salary
    Sub sub: Note to self – reduce inheritance tax at first opportunity, it's clearly not in the national interest.

  • Unblairable

    Next to a photo of Cameron looking pained:

    'But paying my tax advisor a fortune to help me keep more of my OWN money doesn't make me a tax cheat.'

    Underneath: 'No ifs no buts, tax is your contribution to society. From each according to his ability to pay.

  • murraymcp

    The poster is split in 2 with the standard image of the lady in the yellow t-shirt (But not living on my own…) on the left and Sir Philip Green on the right.

    The caption on the left reads:
    Benefits cheating made me £1200 better off. My boyfriend lives with me, that's not a crime it is?
    The caption on the right reads:
    Benefiting from cheating tax made me £1.2bn better off. It's not a crime, my wife lives in Monaco.

  • P Atkinson





  • Adrian

    How about:

    BUT, My offshore registered companies provide jobs for UK citizens so I'm not a tax dodger.

  • AKN

    or use the roads, street lighting, and oh yes, the police

  • P Atkinson





  • Adrian

    How about:

    BUT, My offshore registered companies provide jobs for UK citizens so I'm not a tax dodger.

  • AKN

    or use the roads, street lighting, and oh yes, the police