Head of Communications
And just like that, Fair Tax Week 2022 is over. We were thrilled to see so many UK businesses, organisations and councils join us in celebrating it. Together, you helped shine a light on the importance of responsible tax conduct and recognising those engaging in it.
It was a busy, exciting week, and lots happened. Here are five of my highlights.
1. Brilliant sponsors
We’re very lucky at the Fair Tax Foundation to have such a wide range of active and passionate businesses accredited with our Fair Tax Mark. Two shining examples of big businesses doing the right thing on tax, we were thrilled when Pennon Group and Leeds Building Society stepped forward to sponsor Fair Tax Week 2022.
With the former being a FTSE 250 water utility company and the latter one of the biggest building societies and mutuals in the UK, they’re different in more than a few ways. What they have in common though is a shared belief and passion for being transparent and paying their fair share of tax. Their active engagement with Fair Tax Week 2022 elevated it to another level, and we’re so pleased they were such a big part of it.
2.The Fair Tax Week conference in London
A highlight in previous iterations of Fair Tax Week, this was our first in-person conference in three years due to the pandemic. We welcomed speakers from a range of organisations and backgrounds, including FTSE-listed companies, social enterprises and investment managers, as well as technical experts and vital voices in policy and transparency. Attendees also heard from Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption and Responsible Tax.
As well as enjoying a variety of timely topics and involving panel sessions, I think many of us appreciated finally being able to meet others and network in person.
We were appreciative too of an engaged audience who were keen to ask questions, discuss the issues presented and attend the workshops that ran in between plenaries.
3. The latest UK public polling data
So many businesses are already aware of the vital contribution their corporation tax makes to the public services we all rely on – but what do the UK public think?
I was pleased to reveal recently that fresh data shows the UK public overwhelmingly backs responsible tax conduct too. In fact, the vast majority would rather shop with (74%) or work for (75%) those businesses which can prove they’re paying their fair share of tax. The good news doesn’t end there either, and you can read about it in my full blog post.
4. Councils across the UK standing up for fair tax
The polling above also found that two thirds (66%) of the UK public believed the Government and local councils should at least consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax when awarding contracts. So, with the help of our friends at Tax Justice UK, we launched a new online tool giving the public the power to quickly and easily ask their council to take fair tax action. In the first few hours alone, thousands of people had used it to ask their councillor to pass the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration!
Fair Tax Week also saw South Lanarkshire Council become the 21st local authority in the UK to stand up for fair tax. Cllr Joe Fagan, who brought the motion forward, also pledged to “…support calls for urgent reform of UK and Scots law to enable municipalities to revise their procurement policies and better penalise poor tax conduct and reward good tax conduct.” We were also pleased to see the Scottish Government support the aims of the Fair Tax Foundation and get behind Fair Tax Week on Twitter.
It was also brilliant to see councils that have already passed the declaration celebrating their commitment, with many drawing attention to the week, and their status, through social media and website articles. We also ran a webinar for councils interested in joining those on-board and the recording is available to watch online.
5. Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses making noise
It wasn’t just councils shouting about Fair Tax Week – many of our Fair Tax Mark certified organisations promoted the week to their audiences and stakeholders.
From blog posts by sponsors Leeds Building Society and Pennon Group, to a ‘lunch and learn’ webinar by Unity Trust Bank, and plenty of posts across socials from Millboard, Capita, SSE, Co-operatives UK, Lamplight, Marshalls, Unlimited Potential, M&M Underwriting, Gleeson, Schroders Personal Wealth, Royal Yachting Association and others.
Unicorn Grocery told shoppers just how important the Fair Tax Mark was to them through a lovely hand-painted chalkboard outside the store.