A group that protests against corporate tax evasion inserted a critical article into one of Vodafone’s websites earlier today.
UK Uncut says the mobile telco evaded £6 billion worth of tax, citing an investigation by Private Eye. "We demand that the government force Vodafone to pay the £6bn in tax it owes the public, in order to prevent the cuts to charities and essential public services", UK Uncut said in the inserted article.
Vodafone has denied any wrongdoing, while HM Revenue and Customs says the allegation is "an urban myth", although Vodafone did agree to pay HMRC $1.3 billion last year to resolve a dispute over "controlled foreign companies".
The site in question relates to the company’s World of Difference programme, which pays for 500 people to work for a charity of their choice for two months. Winners keep blogs on the site, and UK Uncut says that it was able to place the article because one of the winners gave their password to the group.
"We’ve seen a couple of posts on World of Difference winners’ blogs relating to allegations of tax avoidance," an official blog post on the site says. "Given these are incorrect, they have been removed."
"It’s very sad to see how low people will go to further spread misinformation and for the charitable programme to be used as a platform for this kind of protest."