Co-op councillors demand suppliers pay their fair share of tax

Co-operative councillors in Salford and Durham tighten procurement rules to ensure suppliers are transparent in their tax affairs

Local Government Officer


Salford and Durham are the latest places where Labour & Co-operative Councillors are leading the way in calling for greater transparency in tax affairs.  This follows a growing movement of councils that are giving their backing to the Fair Tax campaign, including Manchester which changed its procurement rules as a result.

Speaking in the chamber at Salford Council where a motion supporting Fair Tax was passed, Labour & Co-operative Councillor Jim King said,

Some 13 years ago in this Chamber I moved that we should become a Fairtrade City and indeed a Fairtrade Council. And that too was achieved. And I might add being recognised nationally for our work I seem to recall.

This motion therefore continues the theme of ‘fairness’, ‘justice’ might be another similar term we might use.”

The Fair Tax mark is a standard for companies that pay their fair share of tax. It is a way for consumers to be sure that when they see the Fair Tax Mark, they know that company are transparent about their tax affairs and seek to pay the right amount of tax at the right time in the right place.

Many co-operative companies have already achieved this status and the Co-operative Party became the first political party to achieve the Fair Tax mark.

The motion recognises the importance of the Fair Tax mark and aims to replicate national government policy at a council level, where from April 2013, suppliers bidding for central government contracts over £5million have to certify their tax compliance.

All these steps aim to tackle the estimated £30 billion that is lost in tax avoidance each year, £9 billion in unpaid tax by big businesses alone.

Paul Monaghan Founding-Director of the Fair Trade Mark is pleased the campaign is going well,

As you might expect, it has been Co-operative & Labour Councillors that have been front and centre and producing some amazing results. For which a massive ‘thank you’.”

Around 15 councils have passed the model motion so far, to find out more and download the motion for your council see here: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/tax-justice/sourced/sourced-index.aspx