Why Are You Protesting? UK Uncut

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 85 months ago
Why Are You Protesting? UK Uncut

This Saturday, a lot of people will be marching through London to protest against government cuts. But that's quite vague, so we asked a few people what exactly they're protesting about.

What are you doing on 26th March?
UK Uncut groups from across the country are coming together for the march in London, the first time the local groups have come together en masse. It's important to join the march to have as many people as possible to demonstrate anger at the cuts, push for the alternatives and put pressure on the government.

UK Uncut will be marching from Victoria Embankment at 11am with banners and flags to identify us. Some local groups are predicted to head towards Oxford Street where each will 'adopt' and occupy a target from high street tax avoiders — e.g. TopShop, Boots, Vodafone — and banks — e.g. Barclays, RBS, Natwest, Lloyds — from 2pm. From 3.30pm all groups will be coming together again to occupy a secret target, announced on the day, and hold it for as long as possible.

Why protest? It doesn't change anything.
Throughout history people have protested and won change, like votes for women, civil rights and the Welfare State. Progress has been won over time and it's important to fight to prevent that progress from being rolled back.

Doesn't the UK have a massive deficit? What's the alternative to cuts?
The banks and banking system caused the crisis with their reckless gambling. The government bailed out the banking system and now ordinary people are paying for the banks' greed. Government rhetoric and cuts agenda needs to be challenged and resisted. The government is trying to make people pay for this crisis twice — first with the bailout and now with the cuts to public spending to pay for the deficit.

There needs to be regulation to prevent a banking crisis happening again, and a clamp down on bankers' bonuses. Tax avoidance by big businesses and wealthy individuals costs the British economy £25 billion a year. If the government clamped down on tax loopholes and recouped this money, there would be no need to close swimming pools and women's refuges and cut the disability living allowance and education spending. The government is lying when they say "we're all in this together". They're allowing the richest to get away scott free and are instead punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people in society who rely on these hard-fought-for provisions. Society is too big to fail, not the broken banking system.

UK Uncut have been protesting against tax avoidance on the high street since last October, occupying branches of Vodafone, TopShop, Boots and several banks.

Last Updated 21 March 2011


Londonist, please state clearly: is this news? An interview with a spokesperson? An advert?

Thanks for letting me know not to go into the centre of London on Saturday, though.


"The government is trying to make people pay for this crisis twice — first with the bailout and now with the cuts to public spending to pay for the deficit."

Not quite. The implication that a single government is behind this is false.

The last (Labour) government "made us pay for this crisis" (your words) with the bank bailout.

The current (coalition) government is "making us pay for this crisis" (your words) with the cuts to public spending to pay for the deficit caused by the previous government's financial decisions (including their bank bailout).

But it makes a much nicer soundbite to blame it all on the current government, doesn't it?


It would appear that UK Uncut thinks you can pay for the State by taxing bankers' bonuses. In April 2010, bank bonuses totalled £7bn. Even at an unrealistic tax rate of 100% on all bonuses, that represents roughly 0.7% of the UK national de...bt. If we include the 'tax loophole' losses of £25bn (and let's remember, a chunk of that figure is included in the bankers' bonuses already), we're looking at 3.2%

Yep, that solves that one, then.

Even if we only focus on the deficit (which, bear in mind, is just the difference between what is spent and what is received in tax revenue) the combined bonuses and tax loophole losses would amount to a reduction of the £140bn deficit by 23%, nowhere near enough to eradicate any need to make cuts.


Hear, hear! Not to mention the last Labour Government's 13 years racking up a huge credit card bill spending money we simply didn't have, which also seems to have escaped UK Uncut.


Wow did this get posted to a Tory blog?


Boring (the inevitable comment arguments, rather than your investigative journalism Rachel)


The thought that we can simply whip up £25 billion by closing down on tax avoidance is complete rubbish. There is a will to do this with every government, so if it could be done it would have been. because of globalisation, capital can move round very freely and so taxing it becomes difficult in some cases. This is a strong argument for a low tax system!

We already have one of the most progressive tax systems in the world... The Laffer curve shows us that taxing more may even decrease revenues. In some cases we decrease tax to increase tax revenues in the long run (like with corporation tax).

The argument that we had this much debt in WWII is not valid either.... back then 75% of the banks assets were government debt and so the government could get away with this. Now most the debt is owned by foreigners and investors so we are at risk of a downgrade. This in turn would lead to default and more cuts. Japan is not comparable either as the population there are massive savers and so own most the public debt and so are happy funding the governments spending.

The protests are basically supporting putting this off which will lead to deeper cuts later on. But I don't think many of the protesters have done sufficient research and so are naive to this. The intent is admirable but they simply don't understand the situation well enough!

Costello the Hyprocrite

Tom Costello, the middle class jerk who started this off is a self-serving publicity seeker.

In 10 years time, when all this is over, he will re-appear, in a suit, wearing labour colours, probably as an MP.

Then he will join the so called establishment that he is encouraging those morons with him to attack.

He is a clueless spoilt middle class brat out to make a name for himself.

I remember Hain, Mandy, Blair and all the other so-called "men of the people" from their youth.

Just like Costello, they were so called "radicals" - now look at them.

The cuts he protests about are not just because of the people in banks and retail that he now attacks.

Its also because of 10 years of reckless spending and waste by Costello's mates in the labour government who wasted our taxes on illegal wars, the lazy and feckless and the creation of a big brother state that Tom and his mates should be fighting against.

This spoilt little twerp has lived in middle class splendour and then joined the uber-snots at Oxford - WHY??????

As soon as he cashes in on his new found "fame" watch him revert to type.

Middle class ponce....that's Tom Costello.

We should start a campaign against him and his ilk.