South West Get Together – Tax Dodging Session Notes

We got together for a 40-minute brainstorm on three local tactics to tackle tax dodging. The ultimate goals of these tactics are to get the government to tackle tax dodging and to use our power as customers to force businesses to change their behaviour.

Everyone had great ideas and lots of energy – and best of all, these are all ideas that can be accomplished with local organising. The office team was looked to for support and maintaining databases, but everyone came up with great and achievable suggestions on how to campaign at a local level.

Campaign idea 1: Fair Tax Mark

Why might it work?

Public support for businesses who pay their tax – especially local, small shops.

Local Group Objectives:

  • Make a list of companies which don’t pay their tax
  • Make a list of what taxes actually fund (like education, NHS, road building, libraries, etc)
  • Name and Shame!
  • Link up with groups like Tax Uncut to share info
  • Publish (fairtax.org)
  • Tax international organisations on their trade with the UK

What the group might need to do this:

  • Social media – local and national
  • Write to newspapers

Campaign idea 2: Tax Dodging Free Councils

Why might it work?

Local councils have a lot of money and power over outsourcing contracts and work.

Local Group Objectives:

  • Write to the councils – do you audit the companies you employ?
  • Could do a letter writing campaign
  • Get your council to pass a resolution (starting with a councillor motion, then a petition, and a demo if appropriate)

The local group can help by:

  • Making it relevant to people
  • Involving more people locally
  • Reaching out to other campaigners
  • Finding a tax expert to join team

The office team can help by:

Helping identify non-tax compliant organisations

Campaign idea 3: Reach out to MPs

Why might it work?

MPs are let off the hook at the moment with tackling tax dodging.

Local Group Objectives:

  • Challenge MPs to publish tax returns
  • Change prosecution regime
  • Find out if your MP has investments in tax dodging corporations
  • Focus on a local example of how tax impacts on the local economy
  • FOI request
  • Letter writing campaign

The office team can help by:

  • Identifying register of MPs who publish their returns
  • Maintaining a database of companies that need leaning on (made from member contributions)
  • Providing support and contacts