Meat producers dodge millions in UK taxes
This time, meat giants are put in the spotlight over their wealth formed by the infrastructure of the state.
An investigation carried out by nonprofit Lighthouse Reports and the Guardian daily reported that several meat producers in Europe have been evading hundreds of millions of euros in taxes by bypassing governmental institutions and resorting to various financial schemes.
Among the companies that were included in the study, some were registered in the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Luxembourg, the latter three known to be tax havens.
The annual reports of Anglo Beef Processors (ABP), one of Europe's leading privately owned food processors, including those of Pilgrim’s Pride and Moy Park, both owned by Brazilian giant JBS, the world’s largest meat company, received considerable attention due to the recorded extent of tax evasions.
The organization assessed that over 200 million euros ($194 million) have been evaded by leading meat producers who supply big food chain companies, such as McDonald's, Nando's, and KFC, as well as major supermarkets all while profiteering from government subsidies.
According to the study, the identified companies managed to evade taxes through perfectly legal practices and elaborate complex schemes that allow the companies to borrow money from a firm in one country to a related firm in another, and then borrow it back at a different interest rate.
UK Labour Party member Margaret Hodge, who also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Tax, accused meat giants of "butchering" their obligations toward society, all while pumping billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies given to livestock farmers every year.
The UK is currently going through a crisis where the cost of living, energy prices, and inflation are all skyrocketing. When it was announced on August 26 that energy bills would increase to 80%, the following week it was reported that 60% of factories in the UK were at extreme risk of shutting down as energy costs across the country continue to skyrocket.
It was also reported on September 2 that the purchasing power of normal citizens would decrease by 8.3% in 2022.
Another study also revealed on August 28 that Britain may have to spend $27 billion more in subsidies if they are going to cover the surging energy bills in the upcoming heating season.
Furthermore, on August 20, an NHS chief warned that soaring energy costs will kill more than 10,000 people this winter; a situation the NHS Confederation referred to as a "humanitarian crisis".
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