Trafford Labour has thrown its weight behind a growing movement that is standing up for responsible corporation tax conduct.
During a recent meeting of Full Council leading Labour councillors successfully tabled a motion in support of the Fair Tax Mark Declaration.
The administration is now one of the first authorities calling for responsible tax conduct – and has pledged to do what it can within existing frameworks as an active supporter of tax justice.
Cllr Tom Ross, Executive Member for Finance and Investment, said: “One of the many consequences of the past few months is the growing wish for a fairer society and to avoid going back to how things were before the pandemic changed our world forever.
“A key change would be to join other authorities – of different political colours, including Oxford, Oldham, Edinburgh, Peterborough and Lincoln – in signing this declaration that celebrates and supports companies that pay their taxes in full and not do business with companies that participate in avoidance exercises.”
Essentially, the declaration seeks to encourage and recognise organisations that pay the right amount of tax – and is the only scheme of its kind that bridges the gap between corporate responsibility and the wider tax justice movement.
Cllr Mike Cordingley, who represents Gorse Hill ward, echoed his colleagues concerns and backed the motion.
Bringing ethical procurement into our protocols was there at the start of this Labour administration – it’s simply in our DNA,” said Cllr Cordingley.
“Yes, we want to go further, but we’re giving a clear signal of what we see as fair practice given that the public is demanding a level playing field and a fair lockdown.
“The idea of companies weaseling out of paying into a pot and then having the gall to make a claim on the public purse only infuriates the British public.”
Cllr Cordingley added: “Those companies are on marked time,” .
“If there’s to be any Brexit dividend, we would hope to see it make global companies pay their UK taxes.
“It’s so important that Trafford itself gets on board and supports this declaration.
“I’m certainly proud that we’re doing it. And to be in that first vanguard of councils is something for us all to be proud of.”
Mary Patel, networks manager at Fair Tax Mark, said she was ‘delighted’ that Trafford Labour is standing up for responsible tax conduct.
“In doing so, the authority is committing to the highest possible standards, and is joining other supporters in calling for greater powers to tackle tax avoidance amongst suppliers,” said Ms Patel.
“As recipients of significant public funding, it is right that municipalities should take the lead in the promotion of exemplary tax conduct; be that by asking contractors to be more transparent about their profits, or by refusing to go along with offshore tax dodging when buying land and property.
“Where councils hold substantive stakes in private enterprises, then influence should be wielded to ensure that such businesses are exemplars of tax transparency and tax avoidance is shunned.”