Campaigns

Our award winning tax campaign!

Murray Worthy's picture
Murray Worthy Tax Justice Campaign Manager

I’m thrilled to share that our tax campaign won the BOND Inspiring Campaign Award. BOND is the umbrella body for all international development organisations, so this is a great honour, and we were up against stiff competition. Watch our nomination video to find out what our tax campaign is all about. 

It's down to you

This award is a huge recognition of the time, commitment and passion all of you have put into driving this campaign forwards, continuing to push tax up the political agenda, and achieving real changes for the lives of people living in poverty. Without you, none of this would have been possible.

Campaigning works

When we received the award, our Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns Nuria Molina-Gallart said: “It's great that this campaign has been recognised, because it goes to the heart of social and economic injustice. Millions of people around the world are going without essential services, because of outrageous behaviour. Campaigning on the root causes of poverty is one of the most difficult types of campaigning, but it is also the most effective way to ensure citizens of the world have their rights.”

Murray and Nuria at the Bond Awards

Meeting Jon Snow

As well as receiving the award, we also got the chance to meet Jon Snow, the Channel 4 News Presenter, who told us he’s long been a supporter of our campaign to tackle corporate tax dodging.

The Team with Jon Snow

There's more work to be done

Our campaigning continues, and we need your support as much as ever. We need to make sure the government don’t forget their pre-election commitments to tackle tax dodging, so please take action now.

 

 

LIVE: General Election updates

Jon Date's picture
Jon Date Advocacy Officer

We’ll be bringing you updates and gossip on the general election and post-election negotiations - and looking at what it means for our Tax Dodging Bill campaign and for people living in poverty (most recent information displays on the top).

Politicians let money slip though their fingers by not adopting a Tax Dodging Bill
Politicians let money slip though their fingers by not adopting a Tax Dodging Bill
Photo: ActionAid

Wed 13 May 17.31: David Cameron's new all-Conservative Cabinet met for the first time yesterday, meaning the election period is well and truly over and the new Government is in place.

On Wednesday 27th May the Queen will give a speech to mark the opening of Parliament and set out the new laws that the Government have told her that they plan to introduce. We will be keeping up the pressure on David Cameron to pass a Tax Dodging Bill, which we want to be included in the Queen's Speech.

E-mail David Cameron to tell him you want him to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill:

 

 

Mon 11 May 14.49: Congratulations to Justine Greening for being re-appointed as Secretary of State for International Development.

 

Mon 11 May 12.01: We're keeping up the pressure on the newly re-elected Prime Minister to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill through a special delivery to Downing Street:

 

Mon 11 May 11.17: With the Conservatives gaining seats in England and Wales and the SNP winning over most of Scotland, would it be fair to say our new electoral map resembles a certain cartoon character?

 

Sat 9 May 10.36: Here are more campaign supporters in Westminster today with a wheelbarrow full of (chocolate!) gold coins to represent all the money a Tax Dodging Bill could raise in the UK and in developing countries.

Before the election David Cameron said that if he was re-elected as Prime Minister, his Government would raise £5 billion a year from tackling tax avoidance and evasion. We want him to stick to his­­­ promise and introduce a Tax Dodging Bill.

Campaigners in Westminster calling on David Cameron to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill

Fri 8 May 15.42: Use the tool below to e-mail David Cameron and tell him you want him to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days of his new Government.

We're calling for a law that will:

  • Make it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
  • Ensure UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
  • Make the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging.

We are also calling for David Cameron to commit to using the funds raised in the UK to tackle poverty here.

65,000 people have taken action. Join us!

Fri 8 May 14.19: Tax Dodging Bill supporters are outside 10 Downing Street calling on David Cameron and his new Government to #MakeTaxFair

 

Fri 8 May 13.55: Speaking about the election result, Jenny Ricks, Chair of the Tax Dodging Bill campaign said:

“In the Conservatives' manifesto they pledged to raise £5 billion from tackling tax avoidance and evasion, but didn't set out what they would do to achieve this. To meet their target the newly elected government must make passing a Tax Dodging Bill a priority for their first hundred days. This would raise billions of pounds that could be used to fight poverty in the UK and in the world’s poorer countries.”

Fri 8 May 08.54: Most seats have now been counted, and it's not the result many people were expecting. The BBC are forecasting that David Cameron will be able to form a majority Conservative Government:

 

Thurs 7 May 17.05: So, #DogsAtPollingStations is trending on Twitter.

I think this one is my favourite:

 

Thurs 7 May 13.00: Mike Noyes, our Head of Humanitarian, spots TV crews outside of Parliament.

Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days - we will be outside where any post-election negotiations are taking place, trying to ensure our Tax Dodging Bill campaign gets noticed by politicians and the media.

 

Thurs 7 May 11.30: And they’re off! Polling stations opened at 7am this morning, and it still looks far too close to call.

Expert predictions

Here is polling company YouGov’s final prediction for how many seats each party will win. If they are right then we can expect complicated negotiations and could even need three parties to come together to get a majority in the House of Commons.

 

But of course, pollsters can be wrong. We will have to wait until the early hours of tomorrow morning to get a better idea of the actual results. And in the meantime – get to your local polling station and vote (if you haven’t already) to ensure your views are counted!

Wed 6 May 17.50: Tomorrow’s election will be incredibly close. Most bookies think Cameron and Miliband have an equal chance of ending up as Prime Minister.

But it’s not just Labour and the Conservatives that will matter. It looks like neither of the two big parties will be able to pull off a majority, so from Friday onwards we can expect complex negotiations with the smaller parties as the two leaders try to scrabble together enough MPs to be able to govern.

Poverty is political

We’ve been talking to parties of all colours as they were writing their manifestos, and thousands of you have contacted the Parliamentary Candidates in your area to ask them to support a Tax Dodging Bill, which would raise money in the UK and developing countries that is needed to fight poverty.

Have you read the party manifestos?

So, with the election tomorrow, what have parties pledged to do that would make tax fair, improve women’s rights and combat poverty around the world?

In alphabetical order:

The Conservatives have promised to continue to lead efforts to tackle violence against women and girls at home and abroad.

They haven't supported the Tax Dodging Bill campaign, but have shown a willingness to look at publishing company accounts country by country, which is important for developing countries.

The Greens support the Tax Dodging Bill in full, and would increase our spending on international aid from 0.7% to 1% of national income.

Labour have pledged that their first Budget would combat tax dodging, including many of the measures from the Tax Dodging Bill campaign. They would continue to promote women’s rights and join with those campaigning to attain gender equality.

The Liberal Democrats haven’t invoked the Tax Dodging Bill campaign directly, but a few chunks from our policy document made it into their manifesto, and we’re not complaining.

The Lib Dems would introduce an International Gender Equality Strategy.

Plaid Cymru support the Tax Dodging Bill campaign.

The SNP have supported the principles of the Tax Dodging Bill, including publishing company accounts and reviewing tax breaks for big companies.

UKIP would repeal legislation requiring we spend 0.7% of national income on aid, and instead cut it to 0.2%.

They would also set up a Treasury Commission to prevent large multinational corporations using aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

So that’s where the political parties stand at the moment. Check back tomorrow and over the coming days for updates to see how the parties fare, what happens in the negotiations and which of these policies could get put into practice.

Have you signed our petition calling on the new government to create a Tax Dodging Bill yet?

 

 

 

Photo credit: ActionAid.

5 reasons to apply to be a Local Organiser

Natasha Adams's picture
Natasha Adams Activism Officer

Global poverty and injustice can feel pretty overwhelming. If you'd like to make the world a better place but you don't know where to start - we've got just the opportunity for you.

We're recruiting volunteer Local Organisers to campaign in communities across the UK. June 8th is the application deadline. Here are five reasons why you should think about applying...

Local organisers and community campaigners
Local organisers and community campaigners at a London training event
Photo: Steve Forrest/ActionAid

1) You'll be in excellent company 

Last year we recruited 10 local organisers, from Leeds to London, from a journalist to an environmental engineer. They're an incredible, inspiring bunch and if you come on board you'll have the privilege of getting to know them too, as well as our ActionAid team - who are also pretty great (not that I'm biased).

2) The roles come with fantastic opportunities

Over the last year our Local Organisers have blogged for us, written emails to 50,000+ ActionAid supporters, met MPs at various party conferences, hosted local events, got stories covered in local press and much, much more.

ActionAid 'Towns Against Tax Dodging' training, London, UK

Here's what James Taylor has to say about the role: "I’ve been a Local Organiser since August last year. The experience so far has been fantastic! A highlight was when I met Danny Alexander at the Liberal Democrat conference and got to grill him with specific questions about the campaign for a Tax Dodging Bill." 

3) Your actions will make a difference

Last year over 100 people came to local events, many run by Local Organisers, to find out more about tax dodging and how to support our tax campaign. Most recently the campaign for a Tax Dodging Bill has got results in party manifestos across the board. Our Local Organisers played an important role in this success through their hard work meeting and questioning Parliamentary candidates

4) You'll get an inside view of our campaigns

Local Organisers are the first to know what we're up to, and will be playing a big role in our new campaign tackling violence against women and girls launching in June. You'd get the opportunity to shape and improve our activism and can take things in the direction that best fits your skills and passion.

5) We offer loads of support and training

We'll kick off with a weekend of training on July 18th and 19th, followed by two to three training sessions a year, and we'll cover your food, transport and accommodation costs. 

Tax Dodging Bill training

Training sessions are a great time to get to know each other, learn about ActionAid's campaigns and plan next steps. But the support doesn't stop there - I'm always on hand to answer emails or talk on the phone and support our organisers whatever they're doing.

So there you are. We hope we've convinced you!

 

 

Photo credit: Steve Forrest & Jonathan Waring

What do the Election Manifestos say about tax justice?

Barry Johnston's picture
Barry Johnston Head of Advocacy

It’s been a big week for election watchers with the publication of party manifestos. In politics, they say you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose. So, how are our modern political poets doing? Now that all the manifestos are out, here's a quick rundown of what they say about tax.

Ed Balls, George Osbourne and Douglas Alexander
Will the three main parties support a Tax Dodging Bill?
Photo: ActionAid

All the main parties bar the SNP have now set out their vision for a better, fairer, brighter, greener (delete as appropriate) future.

For activists and campaigners alike manifesto week is always circled in red pen. It’s when you find out if you’ve read the political winds right.

Tax tops the agenda

At a top level, we can certainly point to some clear trends in the manifestos. All of the parties in one way or another have promised a crack-down on tax dodging – good news for our Tax Dodging Bill campaign.

Some have provided more detail than others:

  • The Greens, Labourthe SNP, the Alliance Party and Plaid Cymru have all at various stages in the campaign pledged their support for the principle of a Bill, backed up with varying levels of detail in their manifestoes.
  • The Lib Dems, though not invoking the campaign directly, do appear to have cogged a few chunks from our policy document and we’re not complaining.
  • The Conservative Manifesto offers less detail on where they will get the £5 billion they have said they will recover, but does show a new willingness to look at publishing company accounts country by country – important for developing countries.
  • UKIP has pledged to set up a Treasury Commission to bring in necessary changes to stop companies dodging tax in the UK. 

Looking to the future

On wider development issues the consensus on development spending and tackling climate change remains (with one exception) as does a focus on prioritising women’s rights.

But with all the polls pointing to a hung parliament, and multiparty Government now seemingly here to stay, the importance of the manifesto has changed. What was once a take it or leave it set menu, is now more a political buffet.

This new way of governing opens up a range of opportunities for campaigners to ensure that our issues are at the top of the list when future coalition negotiations begin.

When the temptation is to cut a quick deal we need people like you to make your voice heard to ensure that issues like tax avoidance do not slip under the radar and remain at the forefront of the political agenda.

 

 

NB: Last updated on 22nd April

Guest blog: "Help make tax fair.. at least for our sake"

Edward Musosa's picture
Edward Musosa Activista from Zambia

Those were Eddy Musosa’s exact words as he lobbied a UK prospective MP at Westminster on a cold February morning. "So", you ask yourself, "Why would an Activista Zambian youth brave the UK cold to support the Tax Dodging Bill campaign with ActionAid UK?" Read this blog by Eddy to find out.

Activists in Zambia speaking out against tax dodging
Activists in Zambia speaking out against tax dodging
Photo: Eddy Musosa

Global problem.. global solution

Harmful tax practices by multinational companies from across the world including the UK deprive countries like mine of much needed resources in the fight against poverty. A lot of students and young people from all walks of life in my country are passionate about campaigning to make tax fair because it is their only hope for fair access to opportunities now and in the future.

Talking tax during elections

As the case was in the lead up to Zambia’s elections in January this year, the UK political parties through their parliamentary candidates should compete for who has the best policies to curb tax dodging in the country.

In February, I visited the UK to join campaigners to lobby British politicians in Westminster. MPs came streaming into our lobby room and pledged their support for the Bill. All the MPs I had lobbied admitted that we could build more schools and hospitals in Zambia if the UK passed a law that would make tax fair both at home and abroad.

A trendsetting Bill

The UK Tax Dodging Bill campaigners deserve all the global solidarity they can get because they are trying to address tax loopholes in the developing world. For me, this is the first of its kind and getting more people across the world to talk about making tax fair would definitely highlight how introducing a Tax Dodging Bill would be a score for governments across the world.

As an Activista, I also strongly feel youth groups and movements must increase their presence within the tax coalition with their creative activism and energy.

What can you do?

To all the UK local campaigners, political parties and all well-meaning UK citizens supporting the tax dodging bill campaign: always remember that your cause is for our sake as well!

If you haven’t already, please e-mail your parliamentary candidates and ask them to support a Tax Dodging Bill if they are elected.

 

 

Photo: Eddy Musosa/ActionAid.

Leaders debates: Will politicians back a Tax Dodging Bill?

Eva Watkinson's picture
Eva Watkinson Campaigns Engagement Manager

Tonight party leaders will be debating the big issues ahead of the UK general election – but most of them still haven’t committed to go far enough to tackle tax dodging. Please take action tonight to make sure they back a Tax Dodging Bill.

The party leaders, left to right: David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage, Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett
The party leaders, left to right: David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Ed Miliband, Nigel Farage, Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett
Photo: Photos: DFID, David Spender, Scottish Government, EdMiliband (Flickr), Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, Gareth Llewellyn, Edinburgh Greens

Why we're calling for a Tax Dodging Bill

A new law to tackle tax dodging could net the UK an extra £3.6bn every year and get billions more for developing countries. That’s why we’re campaigning with over twenty other organisations to call on whoever is elected to commit to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days after the election.

Over 70,000 people have joined the campaign, and tonight we can really make our voices heard.

We're pretty sure they'll mention a long term economic plan, but will they commit to tackle tax dodging? Only if you campaign to make it happen.

Make your voice heard in the Leaders' Debate

The media and politicians of all stripes will be watching online to see what issues matter to the UK public. Make sure they know you care about tax dodging.

There are a couple of ways you can get involved:

1. Make some noise on Twitter

Tell the party leaders to put tax on the agenda tonight using the hash tags #LeadersDebate and #MakeTaxFair. You can also drop in our #MakeTaxFair graphic by pasting this link into your tweet: 

Alternatively we've drafted up some posts below to make life easy. Just click the tweets to post them:

2. Play our Leaders' Debate Buzzword Bingo

Are you ticked off with politicians saying the same thing? Play our Leaders' Debate Buzzword Bingo game to spread the word about the campaign.

And if you like it, please pass it on to your network on Twitter:

Thank you for helping to keep the pressure on. If you have any questions you can email us at campaign@actionaid.org or tweet @ActionAidUK.

 

Photos: DFID, David Spender, Scottish Government, EdMiliband (Flickr), Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών, Gareth Llewellyn, Edinburgh Greens