Tax dodging should be considered when the government is spending

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Unison Scotland posted this yesterday:

New public procurement rules in Scotland should help tackle tax dodging, blacklisting and climate change, according to a coalition of civil society coalitions.

International development charities, environmental groups, voluntary organisations and trade unions joined together today (Thursday) to demand that Scotland’s annual procurement spend of around £10 billion should promote key sustainable and ethical policy objectives.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, NIDOS, the Scottish Fair Trade Forum, the STUC and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland published ten updated priorities for forthcoming new procurement regulations and guidance.

I have long agreed with them.

I was pleased to note this in their ten suggestions:

Tax Dodging: Procurement must be used, as part of massively stepped up efforts to tackle tax dodging and tax avoidance, here and in developing countries. This could bring in much-needed billions for the public purse. There should be pre-qualification disclosure of company taxation policies, not just of illegal tax evasion. Country by country reporting should be a condition and companies registered in tax havens should not be eligible. Public bodies should be able to evaluate a tender on the basis of which company pays tax or not, with penalty clauses for tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, post contract. Assessment of bids could make use of the Fair Tax Mark and/or other similar checks developed in future that monitor companies’ tax behaviour, locally and globally.

I think this is essential. Only then will behaviour really change.