Thursday, July 20, 2023

West Lancashire champions fair and responsible tax conduct

  • Successful motion demonstrates Council's commitment to fair tax conduct
  • Council to lead the way in best tax practice
  • Statistics highlight public disdain around corporate tax avoidance

West Lancashire Borough Council has committed to leading the way on responsible tax conduct following a successful motion put forward by Councillor Adam Yates of the Labour group.

The pressure on organisations to pay their fair share of tax has never been stronger with multiple high-profile cases of large organisations accused of avoiding paying their fair share of tax. The motion will enable the Council can ensure there is a critical focus on enforcing and maintaining fair tax conduct locally.

A motion presented for members' consideration highlighted a number of troubling statistics that demonstrate the impact of poor tax conduct by businesses. Polling from the Institute for Business Ethics found that “corporate tax avoidance” has, since 2013, been the number one concern of the British public when it comes to business conduct. Two thirds of people surveyed (66%) believe 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 awarding contracts to companies.

Councillor Rob Molloy, Portfolio holder for Finance and Economic Regeneration, said: "Local Councils have come under financial pressure as paying tax is often viewed as a burden, yet tax enables us to provide crucial services such as waste management, care for the elderly and council home provision and repairs."

"As recipients of significant public funding, local authorities should take the lead in the promotion of exemplary tax conduct. It is wrong that certain businesses operate outside of fair tax conduct, whilst local services go underfunded.

"Here in West Lancashire, we are committed to demonstrating best practice in our tax conduct and will continue to support and encourage all businesses to achieve the same standard."

Amongst the nine commitments detailed within the report, West Lancashire Borough Council has resolved to sign up to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration (external link) and lead the way by undertaking due diligence around the payment of tax and business rates and demanding clarity on the ownership of businesses in their supply chain, including their consolidated profits and losses.

The Council will also support Fair Tax Week events in West Lancashire and celebrate the contribution made by responsible businesses who are proud to promote responsible tax conduct and pay their fair share of corporation tax.

You can read full report and council minutes online here: