In Grand Theft Auto 5’s final scene, protagonists Michael, Franklin and Trevor have odious billionaire Devin Weston trussed up like a turkey in the boot of a swanky car. It’s time for some payback – Weston, a marauding tycoon of the Gordon Gekko school, has double-crossed Michael and attempted to hire Franklin to kill him. But first, a little speech from Michael on the subject of the “great evils that bedevil American capitalism”. One of these evils, he says, is offshoring – the act of moving part of your business overseas to lower costs by, for example, paying less tax in the country where you’re based. Offshoring is legal in many countries, but is widely regarded as a dirty trick, denying the society that supports you an appropriate share of your earnings – and in a moment of blunt poetic justice, Michael, Franklin and Trevor proceed to “offshore” Weston by rolling the car over a cliff into the Pacific Ocean. It’s typical of Rockstar’s brand of social satire, clownish and macabre and, in this case, spiced with hypocrisy. Six years after the game’s release, the company’s UK businesses stand accused by TaxWatch of moving billions of dollars in profits overseas… Read full this story
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