Research commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation has shown that between 2014-19, 17.5% of UK public procurement contracts – with a combined value of £37.5bn – were won by businesses with connections to a tax haven.
The Fair Tax Declaration commits us to doing the right thing in our own tax affairs, requiring greater transparency from suppliers.
We will also call on government to change the law so that we can do more to tackle tax avoidance when buying goods and services from supplier businesses.
The council joins 46 other local authorities across the UK, including eight in London, in becoming a Fair Tax Council. Over a quarter of all Greater London boroughs are now backing fair tax.
Councillor Alexandra Worrell, Councillor for Stroud Green who proposed the motion said: “After seeing billions wasted by the Tory Government handing out bogus crony Covid contracts, and watching climate-busting oil and gas giants make record profits from the energy bills crisis while millions struggle to heat their homes, the public are rightly demanding transparency in how public funds are raised and spent.
“Currently, an unconscionable amount of public money is being siphoned off through tax avoidance, so-called ‘profit shifting’, and through the use of tax havens. This is public money which should be used to fund essential public services.
“In becoming a Fair Tax Council, Haringey has committed to lead by example and fight corporate tax avoidance and drive out corruption.”
Cllr Sarah Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance and Local Investment, who seconded the motion, said: “I’m really pleased that Haringey is standing up for responsible tax conduct. We should not be awarding contracts to businesses with connections to tax havens while people up and down the country are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
“Tax enables us to provide services like health and social care, education, and local government, while countering financial inequalities and rebalancing our distorted economies.
“The Government is currently rewriting the UK’s procurement rules following our exit from the EU, so now is the time to push for councils to be given the powers we need and campaign for stronger laws on tax avoidance.”
Polling* commissioned from ICM by the Fair Tax Foundation found that two-thirds (66%) of the public agree that the Government and local councils should consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax as well as value for money and quality of service provided, when undertaking procurement.
The UK as a whole is estimated to lose around £17bn in corporation tax receipts every year as a result of multinational profit shifting alone. Aggressive tax avoidance negatively distorts national and local economies and reduces contributions that support vital public services on which we all rely.
Mary Patel, Networks Manager at the Fair Tax Foundation said: “We’re delighted to see Haringey Council standing up for responsible tax conduct by supporting the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.
“Together with our Fair Tax Councils, we are calling on the UK Government to change the rules so local councils and other public bodies can reward supplier businesses that pay tax fairly and transparently.”
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More information on Councils for Fair Tax here: https://fairtaxmark.net/supporters/councils-for-fair-tax/
NOTES TO EDITORS:
*2022 polling (2022 ICM Omnibus, a nationally representative omnibus survey of c.2,000 adults across GB between 6 and 11 May 2022) commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation from ICM.
The Fair Tax Foundation was launched in 2014 and operates as a not-for-profit social enterprise. The Fair Tax Foundation believes that companies paying tax responsibly should be recognised and celebrated; and any global race to the bottom on tax competition should be resisted. The Fair Tax Mark accreditation scheme is the gold standard of responsible tax conduct. It seeks to encourage and recognise organisations that pay the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place. Tax contributions are a vital part of the broader social and economic contribution made by businesses, helping the communities in which they operate to deliver valuable public services and build infrastructure that paves the way for growth. Accredited businesses include listed PLCs, co-operatives, social enterprises and large private businesses. A Fair Tax Global Multinational Business Standard was launched in November 2021, enabling multinationals headquartered outside of the UK to be accredited for the first time. https://fairtaxmark.net
Other Fair Tax Councils across Greater London are Greenwich, Lambeth, Southwark, Westminster, Richmond upon Thames, Hammersmith & Fulham, Barnet and Brent.