The dodgiest dodger of them all?‏

Ymgyrch 38 Degrees Campaign:

Dear Mabon,

George Osborne is a pretty convincing Artful Dodger! He’s certainly good at dodging the issue of tax cheats. So together, we’ve come up with an eye-catching ad to put our Chancellor on the spot, and face the question he’s been trying to avoid: why the wealthiest tax cheats continue to get away with not paying their fair share, including the Chancellor himself.

VAT goes up on the 4th of January.That day, George Osborne will be doing the media rounds, trying to talk up why we’ve got to suffer cuts to our schools, hospitals and other vital services because, after all, “we’re all in this together”.

But we can break through his spin and reframe the debate, by publishing our attention-grabbing ad on the very same day as the VAT hike. Instead of his carefully rehearsed talking points, we’ll ensure that everywhere he goes he’ll be asked  tough questions. Check out the ad here, and chip in now to help sponsor it!

George Osborne keeps telling us that our national debt is all down to benefit cheats and bloated public services. But that’s not the whole story. Up to £120bn is lost to tax cheats every year. That’s more than the entire NHS budget and over three times the amount we spend on schools. [1] If money is so tight, why doesn’t George Osbourne want to tackle the most lucrative tax cheats?

Well, it would seem that George Osborne thinks tax dodging is okay: he does it, as do senior Tories like Sir Philip Green and Lord Ashcroft. [2] He made a secret deal with Vodafone to write off £6bn in tax. [3] And now he’s busy making plans to give massive tax breaks to corporate giants. [4] So while he says ‘we’re all in this together’ – the reality is some of us can afford high-end accountants, and he’s happily refusing to make the super-rich pay their fair share.

But with a bit of media controversy we can remind our Chancellor that ‘we’re all in this together’ should be more than a hollow soundbite, especially when our nation faces tough times. He’s determined to avoid the issue of tax dodging, so we’ll put it where he can’t ignore it – in our national press on the day of the VAT tax hike. We’ve need to raise £20,000 get our ads in the papers. Chip in now to see this ad go to print!

Thanks for getting involved,

David, Hannah, Johnny, Charlotte and the 38 Degrees team

PS. Since 38 Degrees members voted to launch a campaign on tax dodging, we’ve really started a debate! One journalist for The Observer got so fired up that he wrote a whole comment piece about us, the most viewed article on the whole website! [5] And only this week, ActionAid and the Guardian newspaper exposed the company behind Grolsch and Peroni beer as tax dodgers. [6] We’re proving that when we work together we can force tax dodging up the agenda. Please donate now to put George Osborne on the spot on the day that VAT goes up:


[1] Tax Gap

NHS Budget

Education Budget

[2] Tory Cabinet millionaires face TV claims of ‘tax dodging’

Philip Green’s tax affairs should be investigated, Lib Dem MPs urge

David Cameron Ducks Lord Ashcroft Questions

 [3]  Vodafone’s tax case leaves a sour taste
[4] Government Overhaul taxes to keep companies in Britain

Osborne attempts to stem exodus of firms escaping British taxes

[5] You can’t blame the rich for paying as little tax as possible. I do the same
[6] Brewer accused of depriving poor countries of millions in revenue