The Co-operative Party has received a clean bill of health in its tax affairs, becoming the first political party in the UK to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark.
The Party follows in the pioneering footsteps of many of the leading retail co-operatives who have already been awarded the Mark by meeting the highest standard in open and transparent tax reporting.
The ground-breaking news comes after a week in which the tax affairs of leading individuals and companies have come under unprecedented scrutiny, following publication of the so called ‘Panama papers’ by leading news outlets.
Commenting on the Party receiving the Fair Tax Mark, Chair of the Party Gareth Thomas MP said: “Just as co-operatives led the way on fairtrade, we are now setting the pace when it comes to tax transparency. In becoming the first political party to secure the mark, we hope to lead the way for others to follow.”
Paul Monaghan, a co-founder of the Fair Tax Mark said: “Given the manner in which the co-operative sector has been at the vanguard of the Fair Tax Mark, it seems appropriate that the first political body to achieve the Mark would be the Co-operative Party. We have been particularly heartened to see the publication of a new tax policy that rules out the use of tax havens by the Party, and added transparency around tax due on investment income. More broadly, the Party’s work to support the Fair Tax Mark and other progressive programmes to tackle tax dodging has been much appreciated.”