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UAL Research Online

Tax justice in austerity: logics, residues and attachments

Bramall, Rebecca (2016) Tax justice in austerity: logics, residues and attachments. In: Berlin-British Research Network Conference: Agency and Austerity, 6-8th April 2016, Humboldt University, Berlin.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Bramall, Rebecca
Description:

In the wake of the UK government’s post-2010 spending cuts, talk about tax justice has become more audible and urgent. Campaigning groups such as UK Uncut have sought to bring the contested tax affairs of a number of multinational corporations, and notably Vodafone, to wider public attention, and have called for the introduction of a ‘Tax Dodging Bill’. In the House of Commons, the Public Accounts Committee scrutinised the avoidance of corporation tax by multinationals during the 2010-15 parliament, leading to widely reported interrogations of representatives from Amazon, Google and Starbucks.

This paper will examine the moral reasoning that prevails in post-2010 tax justice discourse. Drawing on data from an online ‘occupation’ of Vodafone’s Twitter feed in 2014, during which UK Uncut supporters were invited to ‘[t]ell Vodafone what you think their dodged tax should be spent on’, I will explore how the ‘injustice’ of tax avoidance is established within the context of austerity. I will go on to examine the ways in which tax justice discourse activates economic imaginaries in austerity, with a specific focus on the ‘tax and spend’ cycle. Tax justice rhetoric tends to perpetuate a residual conception of taxation that emphasizes its function as a mechanism of redistributive justice, and tends not to take account of the intensification of neoliberal marketization and privatization of public services. The paper will conclude by evaluating the opportunities and challenges that these residual conceptions afford – both for the tax justice movement and for a politics of public ownership.

Official Website: https://www.gbz.hu-berlin.de/research/berlin-britain-research-network/Research%20Events
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 7 April 2016
Event Location: Humboldt University, Berlin
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2016 14:11
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 14:11
Item ID: 9676
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/9676

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