Dozens of Barclays branches all over the UK were brought to a standstill by anti tax avoidance campaigners at the weekend. The actions follow revelations that the bank paid just 1 per cent tax in the UK on profits of more than £11billion.
UK Uncut said the campaign took over around 50 branches; setting up mock libraries and crèches to highlight some of the public services being axed by the Government as it attempts to lower the country’s deficit.
Campaigners are said to be angry at Barclays boss, Bob Diamond, who has repeatedly defended the role of bankers in the economic crisis and at his insistence that the time for remorse was over.
Last week Diamond admitted to MPs that Barclays paid just £113million in corporation tax during 2009 – around 1 per cent of the £11.6billion in profit it made that year.
Shockingly, Diamond also revealed Barclays uses hundreds of offshore subsidiaries in tax havens – including 181 in the Cayman Islands alone – to slash the amount it pays to HM Revenue & Customs.
Bob Diamond showed no remorse or guilt when admitting these facts. With his lack of remorse coupled with his revelations have shocked the public; is it any surprise the Uncut activists have taken action on the streets with their campaign?
UK Uncut said its plan was not to shut branches down, but to ‘open them up’ by occupying buildings and transforming them into ‘services that are under threat from the cuts’.
However, Barclays was forced to close several branches as protesters descended on its buildings in cities including London, Edinburgh and Birmingham.