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Posts Tagged ‘Artful Dodger’

Artful Dodger Tax Dodger – What next?

March 25th, 2011 by

This week was budget week. With the news full stories about cuts, there wasn’t a lot to feel happy about. But at least 38 Degrees members made sure the scandal of how much we lose to tax dodging couldn’t be brushed under the carpet.

As George Osborne got ready to tell us that there’s no alternative to deep cuts, our Artful Dodger adverts challenging him on tax dodging were splashed across the national newspapers – including the Mirror, Independent, i, Guardian, Scotsman, Daily Record, South Wales Echo, Daily Post Wales.

Meanwhile, 38 Degrees members dressed as George Osborne ‘Artful Dodgers’ posed for journalists as they arrived in Westminster to report the budget. They also made a media splash, including a live appearance on BBC News and a two-page spread in the Daily Telegraph.

Here’s a video of the day:

Now we need to decide what we do next. What do you think we should next? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

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The Artful Dodger in Westminster: Media Coverage

March 24th, 2011 by

Artful Dodgers in the Telegraph

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Yesterday, 38 Degrees members paid for the Artful Dodger ads to appear in national newspapers, highlighting the issue of tax dodging on the day George Osborne announced his Budget. As the attention of the national media was focused on Westminster and the Budget announcement, a group of 38 Degrees volunteers made sure that tax dodging remained high on the agenda by dressing up as George the Artful Dodger and posing for reporters outside parliament.

It worked – we got our message about tax dodging into the media. The gang of Artful Dodgers were featured in live TV news broadcasts including BBC News, this video on the Telegraph website, and today in a huge photo in the Telegraph’s Budget supplement, shown here.

A short film following the Artful Dodgers’ progress around Westminster and explaining why 38 Degrees members are so concerned about the issue of tax dodging in the UK will be available on the website soon.


Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Tax dodging

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The Artful Dodger strikes again? Our ads are in the papers

March 23rd, 2011 by

The Artful Dodger strikes again? - advert

Today the latest Artful Dodger adverts are in a load of national newspapers: Independent; the i; Guardian; Daily Mirror; Daily Record; The Scotsman; South Wales Echo; Daily Post Wales.

In January we worked together to put the first Artful Dodger ads in the papers on the day VAT went up. Then, a few weeks ago, we voted to continue our campaign against tax dodging and make it a priority for 38 Degrees. Together hundreds of us chipped in to get these ads in the papers to ask the crucial question: will the Artful Dodger strike again this Budget?

So, in this Budget will George Osborne announce tough measures to prove that he’s serious about tax dodging? Or will he do what he’s done before and just use spin to dodge the issue?

Update 1

You can see the ads today in these papers:
Guardian – Page 13
i – page 10
Independent – page 20
South Wales Echo – page 19
Daily Post Wales  - page 7
Daily Mirror – page 26
The Scotsman – page 17
Daily Record – page 16

Update 2: here are some photos:

Our ads across the media

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The ads in the papers:

A Good Day For Tax Dodgers

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The Dodgers in the limelight

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The Artful Dodger

Photograph by 38 Degrees

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Will the Artful Dodger strike again?

March 22nd, 2011 by

It’s budget day tomorrow. So, the question we’re all asking ourselves is will the Artful Dodger strike again?

George Osborne

Photograph by altogetherfool (Flickr)

Together we voted to make tackling tax dodging a campaign priority so tomorrow we’re asking George Osborne to introduce measures in today’s budget that will prove he’s as serious as us about putting a stop to tax dodging.

In January we branded George Osborne the Artful Dodger because of his record on tax dodging. Instead of tackling tax dodging, he keeps dodging the issue. If George Osborne was serious about tax dodging, these are the practical things he could announce in the budget:

Make it harder for companies to dodge tax in secret: make them publish accounts for every country they work in
If companies were made to publish their accounts stating clearly and transparently the profits made and tax paid in every country where they operate, it would be much harder for companies to move money into tax havens to dodge tax. At the moment, companies can shift profits into tax havens specifically to dodge paying tax in the UK. Enforcing transparency would be one way to tackle this.

For more information:
Action Aid: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/102673/five_solutions_for_tax_justice.html
Richard Murphy, Tax Research:  http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2007/01/09/tax-justice-positive-1-transparency
Tax Justice Network: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcat=2#4

Require all companies and individuals to act within the spirit of the law: introduce a “General Anti-Avoidance Principle”
“A General Anti-Avoidance Principle” is about making individuals and companies act within the spirit of tax law and not just within the letter of it. This would mean that tax dodging strategies put into place specifically for the purpose of avoiding tax would be not in the spirit of the law, therefore not allowed. Examples of activities which wouldn’t be allowed if they were for the purpose of reducing tax are things like, moving money between husband and wife or recategorising income as capital gains.

For more information:
Tax Justice Network: http://taxjustice.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-do-we-need-general-anti-avoidance.html
TUC: http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-18825-f0.cfm

Drop plans to make it easier for UK companies to run their businesses through tax havens, as currently proposed in the Finance Bill 2011
The government is planning to allow large UK companies to run their treasury functions from tax havens abroad, letting them dodge significant amounts of UK tax as a result. And they’re also planning to relax rules on all tax haven subsidiaries – or controlled foreign companies – of UK multinationals. This means that large companies will get to pay less tax. Dropping this proposal would stop money flowing out of the UK into tax havens.

For more information:
Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1368525/CITY-FOCUS-SIMON-DUKE-Taxing-times-overseas-exodus.html#ixzz1HJZJeoLH
Richard Murphy, Tax Research: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2011/03/22/business-passing-its-tax-bill-to-ordinary-people-with-the-help-of-george-osborne and; http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/11/30/whats-chiselling-away-at-poor-countries-tax-revenues-and-the-uks-too

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Clampdown on Tax dodgers

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We’ve decided where our Artful Dodger tax ads should go next

February 28th, 2011 by

George Osborne as the Artful Dodger

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Last week we ran a poll to decide where our Artful Dodger tax ads go next. The most popular suggestion was to run them in national newspapers with over 12,000 of the 15,000 votes. The other two options with fewer votes were billboards and bus stops in cabinet members’ constituencies and local election hotspots.

Last time we ran our ads in the papers, we really upped the pressure on the government to tackle tax dodging. The ads were talked about in newspapers and on BBC and Sky breakfast TV. On Sky, our ads even put a minister on the spot when the presenter asked “why are you fiddling about with VAT when tax dodging costs us £120bn?”

What else could we do to up the pressure? If you have any ideas, please share them below:

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Clampdown on Tax dodgers

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Our letter to the Independent

January 11th, 2011 by

Here’s a letter David sent to The Independent newspaper last week. They wrote a great article about us recently, which you can read here.

David’s letter was to clarfiy that 38 Degrees is independent of any political party, because there was a sentence or two in the article that might have made that slightly unclear.  You can see the letter we sent in below.


Your article ‘New media give popular protest a fresh voice’ (Tue 5thJan) about 38 Degrees  Artful Dodger adverts highlighting tax-dodging was a great boost to our members’ campaign. But there was one thing we’d like to clarify.

Your article said that “Tory advisers [...] could be forgiven for thinking that the advert was the latest attack from the Labour Party”. 38 Degrees is independent of all political parties. Our members support different political parties including, in some cases, none at all.

Many of our members were disappointed with last Labour government’s record on tax dodging too. The Artful Dodger adverts focused on George Osborne because as Chancellor he could something about tax dodging but, at the moment, he’s choosing the avoid the issue.

Yours faithfully, David Babbs, Executive Director, 38 Degrees

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Artful Dodger ads are causing a stir

January 6th, 2011 by

George Osborne has been splashed across the papers the past couple of days in his new starring role as the Artful Dodger. Together, we came up with the idea for a cheeky ad to get people talking about tax dodging and we’ve done just that. We’re exposing the scandal of tax dodging and making sure we all know the truth about how much we really lose each year to super-rich tax cheats. We always said we wanted to get everyone talking: politicians, journalists and members of the public.

George Osborne as the Artful Dodger

Photograph by 38 Degrees

The past few days have been really exciting: the phones in the 38 Degrees office haven’t stopped ringing. On Tuesday morning, you might have seen David on Sky News or BBC News talking about our ads. In fact our ads put a government minister right on the spot in a Sky News interview. Our advert was held up to challenge them directly with the presenter asking “why are you fiddling about with VAT when tax dodging costs us £120 billion?”

Together, we’ve pushed the issue of tax dodging up the agenda and the media and blog coverage over the past few days proves it. Here are some of the highlights:

Daily Mirror: “George Osborne branded the Artful Dodger”

Independent: “New media give popular protest a fresh voice”

Guardian Politics Live Blog: 12.12pm

Irish Times: “Billboard campaign to target avoiders and evaders of tax”

Media Week: “Newspapers spike ad targeting Osborne’s tax record”

Left Foot Forward: “Mail and Telegraph pull anti-tax-dodger ads”

If you spot any interesting blog posts or articles post them in the comments below so that we can all read them.

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Download & use the “Crack Down on Tax Dodgers” Ad

January 6th, 2011 by

Over the last few days lots of people have asked if they can download and use the “Crack down on Tax Dodgers” ad. That is of course absolutely fine!

If you want to download it and use it on your blog, facebook, twitter or something else just click here to download it then let us know how you use in the comments below.

Here’s how the ad looks:

George Osborne as the Artful Dodger Ad

Photograph by 38 Degrees

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Daily Mail Group & Telegraph pull our Tax Dodger Ads

January 4th, 2011 by

This morning our “George Osborne The Artful Dodger” tax dodger ad was meant to run in the Metro, Guardian, Indepdendent and the i.

It has become clear that the Daily Mail group of newspapers (which includes the Metro) pulled out of running our ads at the last minute – they were meant to appear in the Metro this morning but there was no sign of them. We’re trying to find out what their excuses are and will update this blog post with the latest developments.

The Telegraph also refused to run the ad.

You can view the ad here: on page 28 of the i, page 18 of the Independent and page 14 of the Guardian.

Update 1: Left Foot Forward have more details here

Update 2: Here’s the ad

George Osborne as the Artful Dodger Ad

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Update 3: If you want to complain about our ads being pulled you can email the editors at the papers that didn’t run the ads here: managingeditor@dailymail.co.uk (Daily Mail); telegraphenquiries@telegraph.co.uk (Daily Telegraph); news.london@ukmetro.co.uk (Metro)

Update 4: We’ve just heard from the Metro why they refused to print our ad. Here’s a copy of the email they sent:
“I gave it the OK before Christmas, but said it would have to be pulled if there was any controversy, and now Conservative HQ are on the attack over the ‘tax dodger’ claims.
“I don’t have a problem with the group advertising with us but obviously we don’t want to run anything that could be viewed as libellous.”
And here’s David’s response:
“It’s a bit implausible that they were genuinely worried about libel – we had been told that the adverts had been looked at and approved by their libel lawyers several days earlier, they’d been looked at and approved by 38 Degrees libel lawyers several days before that, and several other papers felt comfortable running them.”

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