Campaigners switch off Facebook over tax concerns

Anti-poverty campaigners are urging people to switch off Facebook for a day in protest against the company's alleged tax avoidance.

The Facebook blackout was initiated by Church Action on Poverty after it emerged that the company had paid £196,000 in corporation tax on estimated UK sales of £175 million in 2011.

Facebook users are being urged to share images advertising the day-long initiative on 1 December and leave a message telling their friends why they are switching off.

CAP is hoping the message will go viral and alert other Facebook users about the company's contentious tax practices.

National Co-ordinator Niall Cooper said: "Despite media coverage, many of Facebook's 43 million users will be unaware of the company's tax dodging.

"Right now, every pound of tax dodged is a pound less to spend on essential public services.

"The impact is increasingly being felt by individuals, families and communities across the country."

CAP is engaging in the protest as part of a wider effort to make the Government clamp down on tax dodging.

The charity wants the Government to introduce measures to increase transparency and provide better legal and financial support for HMRC to close the £35bn 'tax gap'.