George Osborne – #1 tax shirker

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As PCS reported yesterday:

Chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne has been named the UK's worst tax shirker, winning more than a third of the vote in an online poll.

Osborne - nominated in the competition for his failure to abolish the domicile rule, dubbed a "tax avoiders' charter by the Tax Justice Network - will be awarded his prize, a giant 'jammie dodger', at noon today.

Representatives from the contest organisers - False Economy, the Public and Commercial Services union including its general secretary Mark Serwotka, the Trades Union Congress and anti-poverty charity War On Want - will be joined by activists from UK Uncut to present the award at the Conservative party headquarters on Millbank in London.

Philip Green's Arcadia group - which owns Topshop, a main focus of UK Uncut protests in recent months - came second with 16.9%, with Barclays on 11% in third.

Ten individuals and organisations were nominated for their part in contributing to the £120 billion that is lost to our economy every year through tax that is evaded, avoided or uncollected because HM Revenue and Customs has been starved of resources through years of cuts.

The poll was hosted on the False Economy website - which has been set up to track and co-ordinate anti-cuts activity across the UK and provide resources about the alternatives to spending cuts.

The full results were:

1st George Osborne - 16.9%

3rd Barclays - 11%

4th Vodafone - 8%

6th Boots - 4.9%

7th KPMG - 4.8%

8th Google - 4.2%

9th SABMiller - 3.7%

10th HMV - 2.2%

Clifford Singer, False Economy campaign director, said: "It's brilliant to see such a range of groups now working together to target tax avoidance, from the nimble direct action protestors of UK Uncut to established, membership organisations like PCS and War on Want. As the cuts bite, more of us are asking why the very wealthiest are allowed to live their lives to a different set of rules to everyone else - and the finger is pointing at George Osborne."

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Millionaire George Osborne is the worthy winner of a contest to highlight the unfairness of a system which allows the very wealthy to get away with depriving our public finances of billions of pounds while the rest of us are told there is no alternative but to slash public services."

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want, said: "This poll shows that people are angry. While we face savage cuts in public services and jobs, millionaires and large corporations can get away with dodging tax. Unless George Osborne wants to be remembered as the biggest tax shirker of them all, the chancellor must stop axing tax offices and jobs, close down tax havens and launch a blitz on tax dodges."