Fair Tax Week: South Tyneside Council calls on companies to pay their fair share
South Tyneside Council is backing a national campaign encouraging all companies to pay their fair share of tax.
The council is one of a dozen local authorities in the country which have signed up to the Fair Tax Declaration.
This involves leading by example on its own conduct, demanding greater transparency from suppliers and calling for more powers to tackle tax avoidance among suppliers when buying goods and services.
The declaration is in line with research which shows that more than three-quarters of the public would rather shop with or work for a business that can prove it is paying its fair share of tax.
Fair Tax Week, which runs between June 5 – 13, is a UK-wide recognition of the companies and organisations that are proud to promote responsible tax conduct and pay their fair share of corporation tax.
Councillor Joanne Bell, lead member for resources and innovation on South Tyneside Council said the council was "proud" to support the campaign.
"It draws attention to the need for honesty and transparency when it comes to tax, for the benefit of everyone," she said.
“Throughout the pandemic we have all seen the things tax pays for. From our wonderful nursing staff who have cared for people with the virus and done such an outstanding job in rolling out the vaccine to our school staff who have worked throughout the pandemic to continue to provide education to some of our most vulnerable children.
“Everyone needs to pay their fair share, especially now when public spending is under such intense pressure, and the challenges this presents to the maintenance of crucial frontline services.
"During Fair Tax Week we’re joining in to celebrate the organisations that are proud to pay the right amount of tax for the benefit of all, and to champion the positive role that tax plays in our society.”
The motion on the issue, launched by Green Party councillor David Francis, won unanimous support from councillors and set out a range of pledges.
This included the council ensuring not for profit arrangements were not being used “inappropriately as an artificial device” to avoid paying tax or business rates.
In addition, the motion asked the council to support calls for legal reforms to allow local authorities to "better penalise poor tax conduct and reward good tax conduct" through procurement policies.
As a council which has signed up to the Fair Tax Declaration, South Tyneside is now developing a revised procurement strategy which will further promote social value and ethical sourcing practices.
It is also looking to encourage local organisations to sign up to a series of commitments to promote social good, such as on local procurement and recruitment, engagement with local schools, tackling climate change and encouraging people to shop locally.
Paul Monaghan, chief executive of the Fair Tax Foundation, said: “Tax is often presented as a burden, but it shouldn’t be.
“Not when considered against the huge array of public services it helps fund - from education, health and social care, to flood defence, roads, policing and defence.
“It also plays a crucial role in holding the whole tax system together – helping to counter financial inequalities and rebalance distorted economies – which is why it’s so important that more local councils and businesses step forward and say what they pay with pride.”