Guest blog: Mary Patel from the Fair Tax Foundation calls on Equality Trust supporters to back fair tax

Five reasons to celebrate fair tax in your local area

Dodgy tax practices and unfair competition – from corporation tax avoidance to hiding assets offshore  – worsen inequality in the UK and hit the poorest hardest. With Tax Justice UK we are launching a campaign to help overcome this, lending your voice as local residents to campaigning for fair tax and supporting the vital public services on which we all rely. But why should Equality Trust supporters get involved?

1. More councils are backing fair tax practices

More and more councils across the UK from Birmingham, to Edinburgh and Newcastle are standing up for responsible tax conduct by signing up to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration. 20 local councils across the UK have already signed up to the Declaration, committing to lead by example on their own tax conduct, encouraging responsible tax and challenging the ‘bad’. We’re now seeing more businesses ask us about fair tax as a result. We need many more on board if we’re to send a strong message to supplier businesses that fair tax matters. This is where we need your support in emailing your local councillor, to show that local residents back action on tax justice.

2. It’s easy to email your councillor asking them to take Fair Tax Action

On 9th June, Tax Justice UK will be launching a brilliant new campaign that will give local residents a powerful and simple way to call on local councils to come on board with the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration and support a fairer economy for all. ‘Make you council take Fair Tax Action’ will mobilise thousands of supporters, including Equality Trust networks, to bring more local councils on board and send the message that responsible tax conduct is something to be rewarded. 

Sign up to Tax Justice UK’s newsletter and keep an eye on the Fair Tax Foundation Twitter and Facebook accounts to back the campaign. 

3. Local campaigning works

As demonstrated by the Living Wage and Fairtrade movements, action by local campaigners can lead to progressive changes in the way that business and the public sector operate. Exeter City Council was persuaded to support the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration by a local campaigner. Exeter Councillor Martin Pearce said: “One of the first residents to reach out to me was Fair Tax super campaigner Anne Barnes. After speaking with Anne and then meeting with Mary Patel from the Fair Tax Foundation I knew that this was a campaign I should be involved with. Fair Tax is something that is overwhelmingly supported within Exeter, and beyond.”

4. The public wants to see councils consider tax conduct

Research has revealed that between 2014-19, a huge 17.5% of UK public procurement contracts – with a combined value of £37.5bn – were won by businesses with connections to a tax haven. Significantly, polling has 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 taxes as well as value for money and quality of service, when undertaking procurement. But the UK’s procurement rules significantly restrict the action councils can take to penalise poor tax conduct and reward good tax conduct. By supporting fair tax, you’re supporting our calls for UK public procurement rules to change so that councils can do more to tackle tax avoidance and award points to suppliers that demonstrate responsible tax conduct.

5. The fair tax movement is growing

Our Fair Tax Mark accreditation scheme recognises businesses that pay tax responsibly and transparently. Accredited businesses include listed PLCs, co-operatives, social enterprises and large private business across the UK and last year we launched our Global Multinational Business Standard, enabling multinationals headquartered outside of the UK to be accredited for the first time. Fair Tax Mark businesses are proud to pay the right amount of tax and report transparently on profits, taxes and who benefits. Find out more on the Fair Tax Foundation website.

We can help your local campaign – attend our event co-hosted with The Equality Trust on 13th June

If you’d like to find out more about how you can support fair tax locally, we’d love to hear from you. Email me on or give me a call on 0161 513 8129.

Mary Patel, Networks Manager, Fair Tax Foundation

This is a guest blog and the views of the author are not necessarily those of The Equality Trust.​