A number of blogs on the World of Difference programme - a charity-focussed initiative from The Vodafone Foundation - were taken over today by protesters from the UK Uncut action group. UK Uncut claims Vodafone has taken advantage of what it describes as “a £6 billion tax dodge”.
Vodafone’s World of Difference programme is a competition that funds people while they undertake charity work. Each winner has a blog on the Vodafone website - and at least one of the winners gave their log-in details to UK Uncut as a protest.
The site has since been restored. In a statement, Vodafone said “We’ve seen a couple of posts on World of Difference winners’ blogs relating to allegations of tax avoidance. Given these are incorrect, they have been removed. World of Difference winners are doing great things for charities up and down the country. 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.”
UK Uncut quotes one of the password-leaking winners as saying “Vodafone make a big deal out of their funding to charity, but their charitable giving pales into insignificance compared to the £6 billion they got away without paying in tax. I work for a charity and understand how the government's brutal spending cuts will hit the poorest and most vulnerable. So many charities, including mine, are under threat. Vodafone's tax dodge alone could pay for every cut to every charity in the country.”