Fair Tax Week 2021 celebrates responsible business as new data shows public demand for tax transparency

The Fair Tax Foundation is delighted to launch Fair Tax Week 2021. The Week, which runs from 5th-13th June and incorporates Tax Justice Sunday on 6th June, is a UK-wide recognition of the companies and organisations that are proud to promote responsible tax conduct. Using #CelebratingFair, it is also an exploration of the positive contribution corporation tax makes to society.

Fair Tax Week 2021 launches with a variety of free online webinars, and new polling data which shows that almost three quarters of the public (72%) think It’s important to celebrate businesses who can demonstrate that they pay the right amount of tax and who overtly shun the artificial use of tax havens and contrived tax avoidance practices. Two thirds of the public would rather shop with (66%) or work for (68%) a business that can prove it is paying its fair share of tax.

The polling data, commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation from ICM, also finds that over three quarters (77%) of the public believe that all companies, whatever their size, should have to publicly disclose the taxes they do or don’t pay in the UK.

Graham Drummond, Head of Communications, Fair Tax Foundation

Graham Drummond, Head of Communications, Fair Tax Foundation, said: “Corporation tax helps fund a huge array of public services, from education and social care to flood defence, roads and policing. Fair Tax Week is about celebrating those organisations that say what they pay with pride for the benefit of all, while ensuring a level playing-field for business.”

“Our polling data shows the public want to see more businesses being transparent about their taxes, and would rather spend money with, or work for, those companies. Fair Tax Mark businesses, like Pennon Group plc, are meeting this demand and standing out against their competitors by doing the right thing.”

Susan Davy, CEO, Pennon Group plc

Susan Davy, CEO of Pennon Group (the FTSE-250 environmental infrastructure group which owns South West Water, Bournemouth Water and Pennon Water Services) said: “The tax contribution from business is vital for the funding of public services, investment in people and investment in infrastructure to support future growth – which benefits us all.”

“We know from talking to our customers, investors and other stakeholders that transparency about tax is vital. In recent years, trust in business has been impacted by the actions and attitudes of a small number of companies who are seen to have avoided paying their fair share. That is why it is important for responsible businesses of all sectors and sizes to be proud of the contribution they are making and to actively promote the fact that they are doing so.”

“In 2018, Pennon became the first water and waste business to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark and I am delighted that we have achieved the Mark consistently since then. The Fair Tax Mark is the UK’s accreditation scheme for businesses paying their fair share of corporation tax and reporting on their tax practices transparently.”

“It demonstrates that we are paying the right amount, in the right place (the UK), at the right time and in the right way. Having taken the lead, we have also helped inspire other water companies to apply for the accreditation, thereby improving the tax transparency of the sector in which we operate.”

Susan and Graham will be speaking at the Fair Tax Week launch webinar, ‘Why Fair Tax should be a key part of your business strategy’, on Monday 7th June at 1pm.

Polling* commissioned by the Fair Tax Foundation from ICM has recently found that nearly two thirds of the public (61%) would trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it. Three quarters of the public (74%) believe that the UK should take a lead on and force multinational businesses to disclose how much income, profit and tax they pay in each country in which they operate.

* 2021 ICM Omnibus: a nationally representative omnibus survey of c.2,000 adults across GB between 15th and 17th May 2021.