Liberal Democrat councillors on Bury Council have been successful in a a move to get Bury Council to play its part in tackling corporate tax avoidance.
Lib Dem Councillors brought a motion on tax avoidance to the last full meeting of Bury Council. The motion was supported by other parties and is now the official policy of Bury Council.
The proposal was part of an initiative by the International Aid charity Cristian Aid and their tax justice campaign, which aims to put pressure on companies who don’t pay tax. Christian Aid’s rationale is the sheer scale of the money lost to the developing world each year through corporate tax avoidance – estimated to be anything between $100-$300 billion worldwide each year.
Councillor Tim Pickstone said in proposing the motion: “We agree wholeheartedly with Christian Aid, but for us tax avoidance in this country is also vitally important. Anything up to £30 billion a year is lost to public funds in Britain each year. £7 billion is lost each year just by the tax just by companies operating in Britain who declare profits made in Britain in other countries. This has to stop.”
“Government must take a lead on tax avoidance and as individual consumers we can all play our part. But local councils can and should play a role. As Councils we procure a large number of goods and services, and we can and should use that ‘purchasing muscle’ to put pressure on companies who do not pay their fair share of tax”.
Under the proposals that were agreed by the Council meeting, Bury Council will review its procurement policies to ensure that it fully considers the tax paying record of companies when making purchasing decisions. A report will be brought to the Cabinet in the next twelve months to finalise the details.