What’s the importance of the Olympics tax campaign?

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38 Degrees and Ethical Consumer have been running a campaign to stop those taking part in the Olympics getting tax breaks in the UK. Those breaks are complex, especially for corporates and broadcasters. However, as I've been quoted as saying:

Richard Murphy from the Tax Justice Network said: "It is bound to cost the UK tens of millions of pounds to give tax concessions to all the large companies who are operating at the Olympic site. We're giving money away that we need to solve our debt crisis and to preserve essential public services."

So far McDonalds, Coca Cola and now EDF have said they will not be using the exemption. Whether they would have done anyway, and how much is involved for them is not known. But that's not the point.

The point is that this campaign is making clear that paying tax can be a matter of choice for these companies, and is a matter of corporate social responsibility. For that reason the publicity secured has been important and paves the way for more action. And that's why I've been pleased to help and support it.