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Posts Tagged ‘tax dodging’

Cambridge members produce resource to “help electorate vote with eyes open”

April 30th, 2015 by

Cambridge members Patrick and Chris

“Our leaflet is an independent comparison of which policies the candidates support in seven key topic areas. We want the Cambridge electorate to vote with their eyes open!” - Dr Chris Forman (pictured on right), 38 Degrees member from Cambridge.

Download the leaflet.

Guest blog from Dr Chris Forman, 38 Degrees member from Cambridge.

In response to the nation-wide call from 38 Degrees to host “election meet-ups” back in February I signed up to host the one in Cambridge and then waited in the chosen pub with a 38 Degrees balloon to see who turned up! One by one five other local 38 Degrees members arrived and over a pint we discussed what we could do together to bring democracy back to life! After much discussion we settled on the idea of a party neutral leaflet summarising the positions of the candidates themselves on key issues (as opposed to the parties) that we would hand out to as many people as possible in the days before the election.


The topics we put to the candidates were identified in the nationwide survey of 140,000 members of 38 Degrees. They include the NHS, TTIP, tax dodging and climate change. We also decided to include questions on care for the elderly and disabled and zero hours contracts as we felt that these were important issues as well.

38 Degrees member Patrick O’Donohoe who was part of the team and did all the typesetting work said: “It was hard work at first to contact the candidates but perseverance paid off! When they finally clicked what was going on, the response from the candidates was good. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to fit in all the information candidates sent us! We tried really hard not to modify their responses but slight tweaks were inevitable due to space constraints. Our impartiality was critical to the value of the leaflet.”

With only 30 words per topic the responses really highlight the candidates personal priorities. Sadly two of the six candidates didn’t respond, which was also part of the test! The two who didn’t respond were Patrick O’Flynn (UKIP) and Chamali Fernando (Conservatives) so the team pieced together responses from the manifestos and websites for these two candidates.

“Including the party positions for the non-responsive candidates was better than nothing!” said member Dr Anne McConville. “We did research into their positions so that others don’t have to. We make it clear in the leaflet what our sources are and provide links to further independent sources of information for all the issues and candidates.”

The last three members of the team, David Knipe, Suze Olfield and Gaynor Meers are also very proud of the leaflet. David’s message to other people is: “If issues that matter to you aren’t on the leaflet, then consider getting involved with 38 Degrees! You will find other people who share your concerns.”

We have printed 1,000 copies of the leaflets which we will be handing out in the city centre between now and the election. You can download the leaflet here. Please feel free to print off your own copies to share with family and friends in the Cambridge area. If you would like to help out distributing the 1,000 leaflets we have printed please join in the conversation with other Cambridge 38 Degrees members on the election hub.


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Tax dodging day of action in Cardiff North

April 20th, 2015 by

On Saturday, 38 Degrees members were out in Cardiff North again – to make sure even more people hear about their chance to vote for a candidate who takes tax dodging seriously. With the general election less than 3 weeks away, these conversation could have a big impact on how people cast their vote.

Together, 38 Degrees members gathered lots of signatures for the petition to close the Mayfair tax-dodging Loophole. It was an opportunity to discuss how tax dodging affects all of us – and spread our message that tax dodging can be stopped, if our elected politicians have the will.

You couldn’t miss us in Whitchurch town centre. We had two massive placards that told passers by exactly how many teachers and nurses could be paid for if the government decided to stop tax dodging happening.

Leona, a 38 Degrees member in Cardiff North said, “I consider we were rather successful given we were up against competition for handing out leaflets in a very small area and many passers-by had Leaflet Overload!

Hopefully there’ll be another meeting soon to perhaps find another topic to highlight.”

You can find out what else is happening in Cardiff North and chat with other 38 Degrees members on the 38 Degrees election hub.

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Tax dodging: The government doesn’t want you to watch this

April 13th, 2015 by

38 Degrees members are causing a stir. The Mayfair tax loophole – exposed by us, campaigned against by us – costs the country up to £700m a year and only benefits the mega-rich. The Labour party has promised to close the tax loophole if they win the election. And the Green party and the SNP have promised that they’d do the same.

Polling day is in three weeks, and the result is too close to call. Labour are one of the parties who could lead the next government, and the Greens and the SNP could hold the balance of power. Having all three promise to close the Mayfair loophole if they’re in government is amazing news for us.

But not everyone’s listening. The Conservatives and Lib Dems could be back in government again – and smaller parties like UKIP, Plaid Cymru and the DUP could have a lot of influence. It’s crucial that every party promises to close the loophole, so that whoever’s in power, we can make sure it happens. The parties are finishing their lists of promises now, so getting the closing the Mayfair loophole in there is urgent.

Politicians have spent the last five years telling us that tax dodging is complicated – it’s felt like they want us to think it’s too difficult to understand. But it’s not that difficult: even a nine year old can explain why tax dodging is bad, and what to do about it. In fact, here’s a video of Samai doing just that.

Please watch it, then forward it to your friends to share it far and wide. If tens of thousands of us watch it and share it, it can spread from us to our friends and on to to their friends. Politicians desperate for votes and popularity will have to respond – and commit to closing the loophole.

Watch the video

38 Degrees members have always believed that the fair society we want should have fair tax rules. So in January, thousands of us chipped in to fund a report from a tax expert which exposed the Mayfair loophole – the tax dodge that lets millionaire finance bosses wriggle out of up to £700m in tax every year. Over 200,000 of us signed a petition to politicians telling them to shut it. We wrote to our MP candidates and flooded local papers with letters. Now, the responses we’re seeing from political parties show us it’s working. Together, we’re inching the door shut on tax dodgers.

But we’re not done yet. The more noise we make about the Mayfair loophole now, the more chance we have of getting every party signed up before polling day. And if we can spread the word and make it something every voter agrees with, no party will dare back out once they’re in government. Politicians have been known to break promises – but if we work together, this time they’ll know they can’t.

Click here to get watch a quick video that blows the ‘tax dodging is SO HARD’ myth right out of the water – and then share it far and wide to keep on building the pressure.


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Cardiff North: taking on tax-dodging

March 27th, 2015 by

On Saturday 21st March, 38 Degrees members in Cardiff North hit the streets to talk about tax-dodging. Together they gathered over 200 signatures for the massive petition against the Mayfair – tax dodging – Loophole. A tax loophole, used by rich private equity bosses, to help their clients dodge hundreds of millions of pounds worth of tax.

The group spoke to hundreds of people in Whitchurch about why tax dodging is an important – and outrageous – issue. Together, alongside everyone who signed the petition, 38 Degrees members in Cardiff North want to push the MP candidates standing in this election to back ambitious policies that tackle tax-dodging. Starting with promising to close the Mayfair Loophole.

Brian said of the day “I think the day went very well. We distributed about a third of a box of leaflets and managed to get about 200 signatures in not much more than an hour and a half. ”

38 Degrees members voted to make tax dodging a big issue this election – and on Saturday Cardiff North members started to do just that.

Most of us pay our tax, and play our part in society. Because we’re serious about protecting our vital public services, like lifesaving NHS care and teachers to nurture our children. At a time when people are relying on food-banks, some rich individuals are stashing away billions. Tax dodgers have had special treatment for too long.

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Urgent: Mayfair loophole

March 25th, 2015 by

News just in: this afternoon, MPs can vote to shut the Mayfair tax loophole.  That’s the tax dodge the government set up to let rich city bosses avoid up to £700m of tax a year. We need to act fast to make sure MPs close it.

Can you send an email to your MP now asking them to vote to close the loophole? Hundreds of their constituents getting in touch just before they walk in to vote could tip the balance.

Your email will be copied to all the candidates who want to be your next MP too, to ask what they’d do if they were voting today. The last thing your MP wants a few weeks away from an election is to look soft on tax dodging compared to their rivals – socopying in the other candidates will pile the pressure on them. Click here to email your MP and candidates.

Politicians have admitted that tax dodging is a problem. But they blame the fat cats who dodge tax rather than taking responsibility for setting up the dodgy rules and loopholes in the first place.

38 Degrees members exposed the Mayfair loophole earlier this year. It’s an unfair rule that lets private equity bosses get away with dodging up to £700m of tax a year. MPs could vote to close it today – and get that money back for our NHS and other public services.

We can’t let millionaire finance bosses pay less tax than nurses and teachers. It’s election season, so MPs are trying to look good in front of their constituents. The more emails your MP gets this morning, the more likely they’ll vote to shut the loophole later - especially as every email they get is copied to their rivals.

Please urgently email your MP and candidates to demand they vote to close the Mayfair loophole later today.

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George Osborne joins Tax Dodgers protest in Beeston

March 22nd, 2015 by


We organised a tax event today in Beeston (part of Broxtowe). The George Osborne mask made people smile, but also it was a bit intimidating. People like to see people, and smiles. People were pleased to see that 38 Degrees were in town. We made a lot of friends, the youngest one is shown below.

I thought after all the noise that Osborne made about chasing up taxes and the rich that there would be less interest in calling for a stop to tax loopholes . Not so. Plenty of discussions.

We used the voter registration leaflets as well, indeed some of  us asked people first, “excuse me are you registered to vote”. We collected more than 100 signatures and told people about our next organising meeting at 7pm on the 31st at the White Lion.  (Click here to read about our inaugural meeting).

Here are some more photos:


Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Tax dodging


Swallownest against the Tax Dodgers

March 21st, 2015 by


Swallownest is a village near Rotherham in South Yorkshire. It is 4 miles south of Rotherham and 7 miles from Sheffield and forms part of the marginal Rother Valley constituency. The following extract from the Leeds Mercury details Swallownest as it was in August, 1900: “The first glimpse of Swallownest is all that could not be desired, and one is almost tempted to withhold criticism”.

The 38 Degrees experience is somewhat different: just look at the photo above. The woman on the left is Hilda who together with Mick Hall and Mick Firth leafleted and collected signatures for 2 hours.  They got 83 signatures which is brilliant and meant that  proportionally many more people stopped and talked than in central Sheffield, where similar activities were organised  on the same bitterly cold day (March 14).

Mick Firth was so angry about the Tax dodgers that at one of our Rother Valley organising meeting he volunteered to set up stall by himself. He was able to rope two of old friends in. “Unfortunately the other photo’s taken of us I somehow wiped off my camera.  I don’t know how it happened as I have never done that before!

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We like Jammy Dodgers, not Tax Dodgers

March 20th, 2015 by


It took us only ten days in Sheffield to organise something against tax dodging by the rich. We were able to stand on the shoulders of  the 38Degrees online petition about closing the Mayfair tax loophole and turn this into a street activity. It was a great success, considering it was shockingly cold and none of us had gloves. Harder to organise than around the NHS but we still got nearly 200 hundred signatures.   It was great making  connections with the 15 of us doing the leafleting, who came from all over Sheffield .


Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Pay your taxes George, Tax dodging

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Cardiff North: Join in the Tax Dodging day of action!

March 18th, 2015 by

This Saturday, 38 Degrees members in Cardiff North are taking on tax dodgers. Together, we’re hitting the streets to talk to local people – and gather signatures for the massive petition calling on politicians to crack down on tax dodging. Will you join in?

38 Degrees members voted to make tax dodging a big issue this election – and next Saturday we can start to do just that. Every conversation we have will put more pressure on the politicians trying to be Cardiff North’s MP to stop companies and individuals who avoid paying their fair share.

Liz, John, Maryse and other 38 Degrees members are hosting the event on the day. They’ll have petition sheets and leaflets about the campaign. But the more of us that join in the bigger our impact will be. Can you come along next Saturday? Please RSVP by clicking the link to let others know you’re coming (you’ll be able to chat with them on the website too).

Where: Outside the Post Office, 53 Merthyr Road, Whitchurch, CF14 1XG
When: Saturday 21st March, 10am
RSVP here.

Most of us pay our tax, and play our part in society. Because we’re serious about protecting our vital public services, like lifesaving NHS care and teachers to nurture our children. At a time when people are relying on food-banks, some rich individuals are stashing away billions. Tax dodgers have had special treatment for too long.

Two weeks ago, over 10,000 38 Degrees members came out in towns and cities across England to speak up for NHS services. On one day, we gathered over 170,000 signatures for local petitions to protect NHS services – and got the most media coverage of any 38 Degrees action, ever!

So can you spare an hour or two next Saturday to join in? Everyone is welcome and it will be a great way to meet other 38 Degrees members who live near you. Together we can make sure that everyone in Cardiff North knows that tax dodging is a key issue – and push our MP candidates to do the right thing.

Please click here to let the others know if you’ll be joining in.

Here’s some information on tax dodging to help you out on the day:

1. A copy of the report about the Mayfair Loophole.

2. Tax dodging costs the UK £119 billion a year, the current UK deficit is £90 billion

3. The Mayfair Loophole costs the UK £700m a year: this could pay for 13,000 teachers or 20,000 nurses

Tax dodging is an example of us living in an unequal society – with one rule for the rich, and another for the rest of us. Many fewer people are prosecuted for tax avoidance than benefits fraud. If we cracked down on tax dodging, we could rethink austerity – cuts that impact on local services.

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Beeston Bubbles

March 12th, 2015 by

110315_beeston meeting


We held our first election planning meeting in Beeston on the 11 March.

Beeston is part of the Broxtowe constituency, which lies to the west of Nottingham. The House of Commons seat was regained  by  in 2010 by  the Conservative Party, with a majority of 389 votes. The MP is Anna Soubry .  The defeated MP, Nick Palmer of the Labour party is standing again and one poll (July 2014) puts  Labour ahead with a strong  UKIP presence:-  Lab on 39%, Con on 30%, UKIP on 18%.

The photo above shows 9 out of 10 of us who attended the first planning meeting. (I was the tenth, taking the photo; and sorry about the quality). A number of our members have been very active the NHS campaigns. Also a lot of work has been done around TTIP, in the main through the UNITE union, culminating in a meeting before Christmas, of 130 people. It was a good meeting, which planned a number of activities, including:

  • contacting students about voter registration
  • a tax protest on 21 March: click here for the blog entry including pictures.
  • our next planning meeting on the 31st
  • joining a railway protest, calling for public ownership, on April 1st.
  • sharing email and phone number details

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