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Keep the pressure up on private sector tax

20 June 2013 | by Katharine Teague

In 2010, we challenged four top private sector companies to lead the way on tax and transparency. Three years on, progress has been made, but we must keep this issue high on the agenda.

Unilever building

Photo: Wikipedia user Cnbrb - published under Creative Commons license

Transparency from FTSE firms

Two of the four Financial Times and London Stock Exchange (FTSE) companies we spoke to - Vodafone and Unilever - have risen to the challenge and made an initial step to be thought leaders. 

Ahead of their annual general meetings, both companies articulated their approach and released tax conduct and principles for practice.

This is a great start and your actions have really helped to drive these changes.

Tax still a major concern

However, corporate tax payments - or rather the lack of them - continue to be an area of concern and the spotlight must remain on this crucial development issue

We estimate that tax dodging by some unscrupulous companies costs poor countries $160 billion a year

Business tax payments are incredibly important as these contributions enable the government to pay for essential services like schools and hospitals in developing countries.

Responsible businesses are looking for solutions and starting to reframe how they communicate their behaviours on tax and transparency.

But this is only a start. We must keep up the pressure on both the private sector and the government to make sure that we tackle tax dodging and thus enable developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty.


Join the IF campaign

IF we act together we can be the generation that gives everyone a life free from hunger. Please show your support for tackling tax by joining the IF campaign.

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 About the author

Katharine Teague is our senior adviser for the private sector.