Midlothian Council has become the 30th Council in the UK to sign up to Councils for Fair Tax Declaration thanks to a motion put forward by my Scottish Labour and Co-operative Party colleague Councillor Russell Imrie and myself.

In the face of the cost-of-living crisis, it is important that we get as much value as we can for public funds.  I was proud to call for Midlothian to support fair tax.  The Fair Tax mark certifies that a company is paying the correct rate of tax, at the correct time and in the correct jurisdiction.  I do not think that any organisation which is not paying its way should be in receipt of public funds.

Essentially, fair tax is about fairness. It is about saying that businesses should pay their way.  In recent polling two-thirds of people believe that local councils should at least consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax when awarding contracts to companies.  That is what we were trying to do with this motion.  I am pleased that the council agreed to pass it.  I am also very pleased that my Labour and Co-operative colleagues, Russell Imrie and Kelly Drummond, were able to make the case for fair tax and show their co-operative concern for the community.  This shows that even from opposition we will work hard to ensure that we make a difference here in Midlothian.