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This would be a quite a good idea if it was applied to food and water, as surely these will be of more use, and of greater nutritional value, to those in need.
If I was destitute then I'm not sure that my most pressing thought would be "I'm desperate for a brew".
As runningowl says, a warm drink is always welcome, and I don't think the scheme is restricted only to coffees, so people in need can claim things like sandwiches too.
I've not seen this kind of scheme in the UK as yet, but know there are similar in other countries, so I say good on Starbucks for taking this on.
(There's a regular Big Issue seller in town, who I pass on my way to get my lunch at Pret; on a couple of very cold days this winter I've brought him a cuppa, for which he seemed very grateful).
As DF says it's not costing Starbucks anything; all they have to do is maintain a tally of money in the kitty. They're still making large profits on each cup but now have those on the suspended cups as well.
How many homeless shelters could have been built with the tax they avoided?
Runningowl - it's fine for an independent coffee shop do that but Starbucks can feck right off.
Starbucks can bloody well afford to donate free coffee to the homeless out of it own profits!
And Pret simply give away their leftover food to the homeless at the end of the day, they don't charge me or anyone else to do it.
Starbucks donates to charity to the value of each suspended product. There's a financial implication for them to do that.
Actually, they're also doubling-up the donation.
But surely how much that "matched donation" actually works out at must relate to the mark up of the coffee in the first place though?
No. You buy a £2.50 coffee, Oasis gets £5. FFS - a charity (albeit a bible-thumping one) benefits.
As for the tax thing, Starbucks hasn't broken any laws.
I agree with David Falconer 3, it's win win for Starbucks, they're getting publicity for putting the onus on their customers to give to the homeless. Perhaps they could throw in a few of the pounds they've saved in corporation tax over the last few years.
I feel the same way about "active kids vouchers" and all that other bullshit that supermarkets do. They offer all their customers vouchers, which they can give to schools to use for PE equipment, etc. Sounds good enough, but many customers don't have kids, or can't be bothered. If Sainsbury's were really interested in social corporate responsibility they would simply donate the money to the schools directly, rather than implement a self-aggrandising, indirect campaign. Who do they think they're fooling? All of their customers, obviously.
The next time i drop a few pence into some hobo's cup, I'll do a little jig, and make a big song and dance about it, get my picture taken, and a tshirt printed up.
AgentGinger - Starbucks is - like I said, they're doubling the amount customers "suspend".
I found it here Womble:
It's funny, when this idea went around facebook/twitter some time ago people were saying bad things about Starbucks etc because they weren't adopting the scheme. Now that they are, it's seen as cynical. Ho hum.
Starbucks hasn't broken any laws, but that doesn't stop a lot of people finding their tax avoidance morally objectionable. My point is that I suspect the oney they're giving via the suspended coffee is a drop in the ocean compared to their previous lack of social responsibility.
DF3 - once again you demonstrate that you ahve no idea what you're talking about. Starbucks isn't giving coffee away - they're giving money to a charity.
XFR Bear - do you have an ISA or NS&I bond? If so, welcome to the Tax Avoiders' Club. If not, get one.
My general view is, I don't use starbucks, but I see DF3 says he's against this, so it's probably a good thing
Womble - it was one of those stories that went around facebook a couple of months ago, where an independent coffee shop in USA (I think) did this scheme. At that time, there were loads of people commenting that Starbucks should do the same.
Well, I think its a good idea regardless of what their motives are for taking part. I don't think the charities will care that they are giving them money for "bad" reasons.
Don't Pret also have a scheme to help young homeless people into work by giving them jobs and a clothing allowance to buy the jeans and shoes for the uniform?
Starbucks should do the morally decent thing and pay their tax. This smells like an attempt to decide how and for what they pay "tax". Faux social responsibility.
People have slated Starbucks, Amazon, and now Google for perfectly legal tax avoidance.
Let's be realistic - who offers to pay more tax than they are required to?
The rules need changing to make large companies pay tax.
I was listening to a radio programme about this last night (although I only heard a short part of it), it seems that this sort of avoidance could be prevented within the EU - but the UK govenrment won't sign up to it, and are also reducing corporation tax rates in order to attract more big, multinational companies.
Still won't make me use Starbucks. Even if they paid their taxes, the 'coffee' is still appalling.
Wilkie wrote (see)
People have slated Starbucks, Amazon, and now Google for perfectly legal tax avoidance. Let's be realistic - who offers to pay more tax than they are required to? The rules need changing to make large companies pay tax. I was listening to a radio programme about this last night (although I only heard a short part of it), it seems that this sort of avoidance could be prevented within the EU - but the UK govenrment won't sign up to it, and are also reducing corporation tax rates in order to attract more big, multinational companies.
Up to a point Lord Copper. Companies do this knowing it's immoral, though legal. They ply their trade in this country - they should pay the requisite amount of tax in this country. Simple. Nothing wrong with bringing moral and commercial pressure to bear on these bastards, whilst also campaigning for tax law to be tightened up.