The following press release was issued by The Fair Tax Mark this morning. As is clear, I am a director of the Fair Tax Mark:
The campaign for large businesses to adopt a more responsible attitude to tax receives a major boost today with Lush Cosmetics becoming the first high street multi-national company in the UK to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark.
The Fair Tax Mark which today celebrates its first birthday is the world's first independent accreditation scheme to address the issue of responsible tax with Lush being the latest company to be awarded the Mark.
The cruelty-free cosmetics giant which has built its retail empire on iconic products such as the Think Pink bath bomb now operates 105 stores across the UK and over 900 stores in 49 countries around the world.
Mark Constantine OBE, Lush Co-founder and Managing Director said:
Tax is a notoriously murky and controversial area of business. Today more than ever it's reassuring to know that the Fair Tax Mark is setting a benchmark for responsible tax behaviour. We're both flattered and proud to have made the Mark.
The first Fair Tax Mark certification of a high street multi-national business now opens up the opportunity for large businesses to be equally open and transparent about their tax affairs. This in turn will enable shoppers to support those businesses that pursue responsible tax behaviour.
Richard Murphy, a tax justice campaigner and one of the founders of the Fair Tax Mark said:
Lush has chosen to voluntarily report its annual sales and taxes paid in each country it operates in. This is genuinely ground-breaking for a multinational in the retail sector.
With the issue of tax avoidance still dominating the headlines, in its first year of operation the Fair Tax Mark has successfully awarded the Mark to growing numbers of the UK's most progressive companies. These include SSE plc which is the first FTSE 100 company to be awarded the Mark.
Richard Murphy continued:
Around the world and here in the UK people are now aware that many big businesses routinely fail to pay the taxes they really owe. What they now want to do is spend their money with those companies who are doing the right thing by seeking to pay the fair tax that they owe in the right place at the right time.
The Fair Tax Mark is designed to allow consumers to identify those businesses who are paying their fair share of tax. This makes the Mark the next step in the campaign for tax justice.