Yesterday Redbridge Council became the latest local authority to back ActionAid’s new Towns Against Tax Dodging Campaign by passing a business motion urging the government to do more to tackle multinational tax dodging in the UK and developing countries.
While many ordinary people in the UK are experiencing hardship and rising costs, some multinational companies are avoiding billions of pounds of tax from a system that fails to make them pay their fair share.
It has been estimated that the UK Treasury loses as much as £12 billion to tax dodging by multinational companies every year. It’s even worse for developing countries, which lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in international aid every year.
The situation also affects the poorest countries in the world, where UK companies have been shown to be avoiding millions of pounds of tax.
ActionAid calculated that Zambia had lost an estimated US$27 million as a result. That is enough to put an estimated 48,000 children in school. The company was paying less tax than a local market stall trader.
The ability to provide quality local services of Redbridge Council and local authorities in the world’s poorest countries would be significantly enhanced by the increased revenues from governments tackling tax dodging and all multinationals paid their fair share in tax.
The proposer of the business motion to full council, Councillor Paul Merry (Wanstead) said: “Everyone who benefits from public spending should contribute their fair share, including large UK multinational corporations. Parliamentary candidates and future UK governments must listen to the strength of public feeling and act to end the injustice of tax dodging by large multinational companies, in developing countries and the UK.”
Seconder of the motion, Councillor Varinder Singh-Bola (Cranbrook) added: “I’m very pleased that we received cross-party support for this campaign, which highlights the importance of tackling tax avoidance. We want our government and all political parties to recognise the strength of feeling amongst our residents in Redbridge on this issue and to commit themselves to taking action on tax avoidance.”