Political group Left Unite target national retailer in town centre protest

Protest outside Boots store in Market Square NNL-140628-184447001
Protest outside Boots store in Market Square NNL-140628-184447001

Members of a political and protest groups targeted the Northampton branch of a national retailer to campaign against its tax payments.

Occupy Northampton, working alongside left-wing groups Left Unity and UK Uncut, stood outside the Market Square branch of Boots the Chemist on Saturday with posters and placards.

The group claims the retailer owes hundreds of millions of pounds in tax, a claim denied by the complany.

Left Unity principle speaker, Bianca Todd, said: “On top of austerity measures, this sort of thing is getting people more annoyed because it shows that the rich are getting looked after, while the poorer and most vulnerable are not.

“If any of us didn’t pay our taxes we know that the Inland Revenue would come down on us pretty quickly.”

The protest was lead my a small group but drew interest from passers-by in the square.

Miss Todd said: “We hold nothing against staff at Boots, it’s all about the bigger picture of getting political parties to create a new identity.

“What people want these days is to see those in power actually caring about the fact that people are struggling to feed their families. We have over eight food banks in Northampton and they are busy every day, while millions have been spent on rebuilding Abington Street; we just want to see the government recognise people over profit.”

“I think protests like this are exciting for Northampton because we don’t to get involved in this sort of thing much as a communitya nd people aren’t yet angry enough. Hopefully, seeing us do things like this will give others more confidence to stand up too.”

But Alliance Boots strongly deny the allegation, stating that it is not based on factual information.

A spokesperson said: “We are disappointed to hear that protest actions took place at the Boots store in Northampton.

“The claim that Alliance Boots or Boots have avoided £1.2 billion in tax is simply not true. This number is based on inaccurate and theoretical calculations, and on the assumption that any company carrying corporate debt is practicing tax avoidance.

“All companies, large or small, that carry debt are afforded tax deductibility of their debt interest in the UK.

“We respect the law wherever we operate, which is more than 25 countries including the UK, and conduct our business and tax affairs strictly in compliance with it.”