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Southwark Council commits to a Fair Tax Declaration

10 August 2022

Southwark Council joins a growing movement of cities, towns and districts standing up for responsible tax conduct.

At Southwark’s Council Assembly meeting on 13 July, Councillors agreed to approve the Fair Tax Foundation’s Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.

The council joins 23 other authorities across the UK, including London councils Lambeth Council and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The Fair Tax Foundation has developed the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration in collaboration with UK cities, towns and districts who believe that they can and should stand up for responsible tax conduct - doing what they can within existing rules and pledging to do more if given the opportunity, as active supporters of tax justice.

The Declaration commits cities, towns and districts to pursuing exemplary tax conduct in their affairs, require greater transparency from suppliers and join calls for more meaningful powers to tackle tax avoidance amongst suppliers when buying goods and services.

Councillor Cryan, Cabinet Member for Finance, Democracy and Digital said: “We are delighted to join other councils across the country in calling for new powers to reward good business practices and challenge those corporations who rip off the taxpayer through avoiding paying their fair share.

Corporation taxes pay for roads, schools, care homes and new council housing. Public finances have never been under such strain and where business refuse to play by the rules this means that councils like Southwark lose out. It is our duty to stand up to for residents and all taxpayers by ensuring we do our bit to encourage the best possible practices by businesses across the country.”

The Fair Tax Foundation found that two-thirds (66%) of the public agree* that the Government and local councils should at least consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax as well as value for money and quality of service provided, when undertaking procurement.

Mary Patel, Networks Manager at the Fair Tax Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Southwark Council is standing up for responsible tax conduct by approving the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration. As recipients of significant public funding, it is right that local councils should take the lead in the promotion of responsible tax conduct; be that by asking contractors to be transparent about their profits and who owns them, or by refusing to go along with offshore tax dodging when buying land and property.

“At the Fair Tax Foundation, we believe that ‘good’ tax conduct should be a core public procurement consideration. Not only because it helps level the playing field for competing suppliers and bolsters the national corporate tax take, but it also enables better identification and mitigation of financial and corruption risks by contracting authorities.”

Page last updated: 10 August 2022

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