1 Starbucks lumped National Insurance into their tax bill
2 They pay "branding rights" to the parent corporation
3 They make almost no profit in the UK
The first point is that NI is pretty much unavoidable anyway, so including it doesn't really make you look great. Only really low-level tax evaders try to get out of NI and PAYE.
The branding rights is an obvious avoidance measure. They don't have to pay this, since Starbucks UK is wholly-owned by their US headquarters (and if they're not, they may as well be).
The final point actually follows from the second: they don't report high profit because it's all syphoned off via branding rights. Do they seriously expect people to believe they operate in the UK purely out of the goodness of their hearts?
IANATL but do Starbucks even have any PAYE or NI tax to pay? Isn't it their employees that pay that? Just because Starbucks happen to take the money off of your pay cheque for you doesn't mean that it's not your tax liability that's being paid for.
Not having your employees systematically avoiding tax (e.g. like what happens at some levels in the civil service) is great and all but it's not like Starbucks are out there preaching to their employees about how awesome it is to be a tax payer.
I threw PAYE in there, since NI and PAYE tend to go hand-in-hand. Looking at it again, I probably muddied my explanation somewhat.
Starbucks aren't preaching to their employees, but they are trying to claim moral credit for paying a tax that's not worth their time to get out of paying.
Also, does anyone know if the company that owns the Starbucks brand is located in the USA? My guess is that it is not due to tax reasons.
Unfortunately, I can't find the article that details it. If I can, I'll post it.