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Monday 2 February 2015

Mail Boots Promotion Backfires

As was clear from yesterday’s entirely fabricated Mail On Sunday claim that Mil The Younger’s leadership of the Labour Party had suddenly come under attack from a variety of people who were either anonymous, no longer in Parliament, or both, this was an organised hit ordered by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, with the campaign continuing in today’s Daily Mail.
LABOUR’S WAR ON BOOTS THE CHEMISTthunders the headline, demonstrating that the Dacre doggies are stuck in a fifty year old timewarp: nobody, but nobody, uses that name for Boots any more. Worse, Labour have not declared war on that organisation: all that has happened is that Boots’ CEO has provoked adverse comment by declaring that a Labour victory in May would be a “catastrophe”.

Stefano Pessina is, of course, entitled to his opinion. And those who do not reside in Monaco and sit on an $11 billion pile of dosh are, equally, entitled to theirs. One can see why Pessina would not be keen on the Mansion Tax, the restoration of the 50p Income Tax rate for highest earners, and a crackdown on tax avoidance. And, thanks to his intervention, one can also see that Boots is no longer the firm many thought it was.

While Daily Mail Comment, the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue, sneers loftily “Yesterday delivered yet more evidence of just how utterly unsuitable Ed Miliband is to be Prime Minister. The attack on his leadership by the boss of high street giant Boots was devastating”, many Boots customers are waking up to the fact that they are helping to promote yet more of that tax planning that disadvantages the UK Exchequer.

Alliance Boots, as was, was based in Switzerland. Walgreen Boots Alliance is headquartered in the USA. It may employ 60,000 in the UK, but, as the Independent reported last year, “The pharmacy giant posted net consolidated profit up 31 per cent to £971m and underlying profits up  18.5 per cent to £840m for the year to April. However, due to a tax credit, it reported a £2m global corporation tax charge, down from £96m”.

It also came clear that Boots in the UK was paying an effective corporation tax rate of only 10%. The idea that a company making significant amounts of money off the back of the NHS was getting away with paying rather less than the standard company tax rate did not reflect well on Pessina and his pals. Now that he has been shooting his mouth off, this practice is making many regular Boots customers think again.

Some of those customers thought they were supporting a bona fide British business, such was the brand identity of the company. Now they see that it’s just another vehicle for generating More And Bigger Dividends For Remote Owners Personally Now. The Daily Mail, by backing Pessina so they can kick Miliband, shows that Dacre’s instinct for a story is deserting him. Backing the foreign moneybags will not impress Daily Mail readers.

He should have retired when he turned 65. It will only keep on going downhill from here.


Amanda Kendal said...

As well as Labour having already put down an EDM on Boots tax evasion – http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2013-14/562 – other policies Labour is pledging include cracking down on zero-hours contracts and increasing the living wage.

As the 'Mirror' revealed in 2013, Boots uses both these – up to the point of saying that it can send contracted staff to work in other countries for a time: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/boots-staff-zero-hours-contracts-could-2122246.

One can imagine that there's plenty that Mr Pessina thinks could be 'bad for business'.

rob said...

Flip floppers?

One day alleged tax avoider Gary Lineker is in trouble with them.

Another day the Mail supports the views of tax avoiders Boots?

Where do they stand on tax avoidance exactly - would their owner know?

DBC said...

As the Mail likes tacking on stupid labels to people's names (i.e."Red Ed") how about "c*** Dacre"?

SteveB said...

"Stefano Pessina is, of course, entitled to his opinion" - no he isn't! Only people who live here are entitled to an opinion on who forms our government.