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We are United Citizens

Wednesday 29 May 2019 (London): Activists from campaign group United Citizens staged a demonstration today, calling on Google to pay their UK corporate tax in full.

The protest was staged in response to the scandal, revealed by the Tax Justice Network (who also joined the petition delivery) and the Mirror, that Google dodged paying £1.5bn in tax in the UK last year – enough to pay for 60,000 nurses for our NHS.

The campaigners demonstrated outside Google’s UK headquarters in King’s Cross, London, where they also handed over a petition signed by over 130,000 people that called on Google to pay their UK tax in full.
On receiving the petition, Google representatives were unable to confirm to the protesters that the petition would be seen by Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai. They did, however, state that the petition would be reviewed ‘with the leadership’ of the corporation. 

United Citizens, who coordinated the demonstration outside Google’s offices in London, is a membership organisation which campaigns on tech-related issues in the UK and throughout the world.

United Citizens member Alex King, the petition’s organiser, said:

“It’s great that Google sent representatives to engage with us today, but we’ll only learn how willing they are to engage with citizens after they’ve reviewed our petition demands and given us a straightforward answer.”

“We directly asked for our petition to be taken to Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO. If Google fail to respond to us about the gigantic tax bill they dodged, I believe it reflects badly on their leadership and the brand’s ethos – ‘Don’t be evil’.”

Alvin Carpio, Chief Executive at United Citizens, said:

“We back our member, Alex King, and the 130,000 people who signed his petition calling for Google UK to pay the £1.5bn tax that could pay for 60,000 nurses. United Citizens was set up to represent citizens and advocate on behalf of the public, to help shape tech for all, leaving nobody behind.

“To ensure the fourth industrial revolution leads to progress, we call on the most powerful leaders – in this case Google’s CEO Sunday Pichai – to work with us and civil society to create a fairer and better world.”

Alex Cobham, Chief Executive at the Tax Justice Network, said:

“The £1.5 billion in taxes that went unpaid is more than just an indictment of one company – it’s an indictment of a world tax war waged by the world’s richest nations that has ruthlessly undermined our ability to tax multinational corporations.  Our Corporate Tax Haven Index published today shows the most corrosive corporate tax havens in the world, chiefly the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg, seeking to benefit at the cost of other countries’ hospitals, schools and small businesses.

“We urge the countries discussing tax reforms at the OECD today to hear the voices of the 130,000 people who have today called for change and accountability. To curtail the corporate tax avoidance that costs hundreds of billions of dollars every year, governments must finally deliver international rules that ensure profits are declared, and tax paid, in the places where real economic activity takes place. We must start taxing corporations based on where their employees work, not where their ledgers hide.”