This month, all across the UK, campaigners have been spreading the word in their local communities about the need for action to tackle corporate tax dodging.
We all pay taxes on the money we make and the things that we buy and we all benefit from it together as a community. So when big companies avoid paying their fair share of tax, it affects us all. But it’s not just a problem in the UK; the world’s poorest countries are estimated to lose $160 billion to corporate tax dodging every year. Just think of what poor communities could achieve with that money.
19 councils have passed a motion in support of cracking down on tax dodging so far and the Towns Against Tax Dodging campaign continues to grow. As part of the campaign, local papers across the UK from Fife to Devon have published your letters and you have ordered thousands of posters to take to businesses to ask them to show their support. Order posters for your local area here.
All parties feel the pressure
The past month has also seen movement from all political parties as they feel the public pressure to tackle corporate tax dodging.
The government recently agreed to reform the ‘Patent box’, a controversial tax break for technology companies after countries, including Germany, argued that it encouraged companies to avoid taxes. And Labour promised to introduce tougher penalties for companies’ abusive tax arrangements by introducing fines of up to 100% of the tax that companies try to avoid paying. These changes won’t make a big impact on UK companies’ tax avoidance in developing countries, but they do show how campaigning has pushed tax to the top of the political agenda.
Together, we’re growing a powerful movement of people across the UK who are sick and tired of big companies getting away with unfair tax practices that cost communities in need and make it difficult for local businesses to compete. With the general election now less than six months away, let’s keep building momentum, and together we can help fix this broken system.