Call for council to join tax avoidance campaign

13 Jan

Severe council cuts could be reduced if multinational companies paid their fair share of tax, according to councillors.

Labour Cllr Paul Merry, of Wanstead ward, and Cllr Varinder Singh-Bola, of Cranbrook ward, will put forward a motion at a council meeting this week calling on the authority to back the Action Aid campaign.

The charity claims the treasury loses £12billion to tax avoidance by major firms.

It was reported that Amazon only paid £1.8m in corporation tax in 2011 despite £3.35bn UK sales, while Starbucks paid no corporation tax in the same year, following profits of £380m.

The campaign, Towns against Tax Dodging, is calling for the tax system to be tightened in order to generate more revenue for public services .

The motion calls on Redbridge council to write to MPs and ask the government to “take on a lead role in creating a fairer tax system to end tax dodging by multi-national companies, and to prevent corporation tax avoidance.”

It comes as residents spoke of their fears about the effect on the community of proposed cuts to services.

Last week, a Redbridge council report showed that the children’s services will be “restructured” and downsized, and three smaller libraries will be closed, along with the mobile library services.

Around 140 council jobs are also at risk.

Cllr Singh-Bola said: “Over the past four years, funding to local government in this country has been cut at an unprecedented rate by the government, leading to redundancies and impacting on services and benefits to local people as a result.

“Redbridge council is being forced into having to make £70 million in cuts over the next three years.

“If multinational companies paid their fair share, this need not have been so severe.”

The debate will take place at the full council meeting at 7.15pm on Thursday at Redbridge town hall.


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