Tax Row: Starbucks' Critics Take To Facebook

Tax Row: Starbucks' Critics Take To Facebook

Tax critics of Starbucks have swamped the company's Facebook page after the coffee chain stopped customers leaving comments on its executives' blogs.

The US firm posted two blogs on its website, outlining its U-turn on paying corporation tax in the UK.

But the published articles do not have comments activated - unlike early blogs which were swamped by hundreds of complaints .

The Seattle-based company had been criticised for paying just £8.6m in corporation tax despite taking billions of pounds in revenue from more than 750 outlets.

But on Thursday, Starbucks UK managing director Kris Engskov told Sky News it would "take action" and pay around £20m in voluntary tax over the next two years.

Despite the turnaround, Starbucks has still come under fire from Britons claiming the move is "too little, too late".

More than 1,400 people have commented on a link to the blog - entitled An Open Letter From Kris Engskov - on Starbucks UK's official Facebook page.

Many of the messages posted were negative or hostile. Facebook user Angela Jupp commented: "Nope, not good enough. You've blown it in the UK. You've completely underestimated the British sense of 'fair play'."

Shari Samad added: "Too late. Me and all my family will no longer buy Starbucks coffees ... Now I buy mine from Costa."

And Alan Meekings posted: "Too little, too late, Kris. You've lost my trust irreparably."

However, some customers praised the coffee chain's U-turn, while others blamed flawed tax legislation.

Facebook user Adam Ereunity Taylor said: "They weren't breaking the law, they were using loopholes. Loopholes that should have been closed by our government long ago."

And Jane Cook added: "Thank you for listening ... you are my favourite coffee house."

Starbucks' decision to change the way they pay tax in the UK comes after the Government pledged to crack down on tax avoidance after public outrage over how little some multinational companies contribute to the UK Exchequer.

A damming report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of MPs accused some multinational companies of "immorally" minimising UK tax bills.

Executives from Google, Amazon and Starbucks were grilled by the PAC.

But its chairman, Margaret Hodge MP, told Sky News that Starbucks' move was positive and a "step in the right direction" which had been brought about by "people power".