Investors Should Make Tax An Ethical Issue, Says Christian Aid
October 7th, 2011
October 7th, 2011
PARIS – Investors who want to ensure their money supports ethical concerns should add tax behaviour to the criteria by which companies are judged, Christian Aid says today.
‘Along with traditional concerns such as involvement in tobacco, weapons and environmental issues, a company should also be assessed on its tax practices,’ says Dr David McNair, Christian Aid’s Principal Adviser on Economic Justice.
‘Companies should contribute to the societies in which they work. Paying tax is a major way in which they can do so, helping fund schools, hospitals and other essential public services.
‘To qualify as an ethical investment, Christian Aid believes a company must pay its taxes in a transparent way. This includes paying the taxes they owe in the countries where the work which generated the profits actually took place.
‘Some unscrupulous multinational corporations use the secrecy offered by the world’s tax havens to avoid, or even evade, the tax they owe, which has a particularly damaging impact on the poorer countries where they operate.
‘At present, we estimate that tax dodging by multinationals costs developing countries some $160bn a year in lost tax revenue – one-and-a-half times the amount they receive from rich countries in aid. This harms millions of people living in poverty.’
In a report published this week calling for tax to be regarded as a corporate responsibility issue, Christian Aid warns that companies which pursue aggressive tax strategies face a higher risk of reputational damage than those that don’t. They also risk costly legal action being taken against them by tax authorities.
The report argues that companies should consider implementing codes of conduct which rule out aggressive tax behaviour and include commitments such as:
For more information or to arrange an interview with David McNair, please contact Rachel Baird on +44 (0)207 523 2446, +44 (0)7545 501 749 or email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world’s poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.
2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty. Details at http://www.christianaid.org.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development. Further details at http://www.actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid’s newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk