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 Bedford Borough Council – Fair Tax


In October Bedford Borough Council joined 33 other local authorities across the UK, including Peterborough and Norwich in the East of England in becoming a Fair Tax Council.

The Councils for Fair Tax Declaration commits cities, towns and districts to do the right thing in their own tax affairs, requiring greater transparency from suppliers and joining calls for rules to change so that they can do more to tackle tax avoidance when buying goods and services from supplier businesses.

Green Party Councillor Cllr Lucy Bywater who brought the motion before Full Council on Wednesday said: As Greens, we believe there’s a need to embed tax justice locally. We want to see the council take a lead by backing responsible businesses that pay their fair share of tax. Fair Tax Mark principles are about transparency and fairness, helping create a level playing field for businesses large and small. Paying tax responsibly and transparently should be celebrated, and any race to the bottom resisted. Right now, with the economic situation looking so precarious, tax receipts are especially vital to fund our struggling public services as well as to assist recovery from the pandemic and build a local low-carbon economy.

Polling* commissioned from ICM by the Fair Tax Foundation found that two-thirds (66%) of the public agree that the Government and local councils should 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.

The UK as a whole is estimated to lose around £17bn in corporation tax receipts every year as a result of multinational profit shifting alone. Aggressive tax avoidance negatively distorts national and local economies and reduces contributions that support vital public services on which we all rely.

Mary Patel, Networks Manager at the Fair Tax Foundation said:

“We’re delighted to see Bedford Borough Council standing up for responsible tax conduct by supporting the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.

“Together with our Fair Tax Councils, we are calling on the UK Government to change the rules so local councils and other public bodies can reward supplier businesses that pay tax fairly and transparently. Alongside this, it’s vital that Government presses ahead with planned reforms to the UK’s corporate registration service, to drive down fraud and dirty money and enable a more trusted and efficient business marketplace to evolve.”

You can find more information on Councils for Fair Tax here: Councils for Fair Tax Declaration - Fair Tax Foundation