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Tax campaign stunt, London, December 2014.

Mainstreaming tax

People everywhere want education for their children, good healthcare and clean water, but tax dodging denies poor countries billions of dollars in revenue every year.

We cannot study to ruin our neighbour’s trade in order to advance our own.

John Wesley

In 2015, Christian Aid supporters and staff helped to persuade politicians to do more to stop companies dodging tax, both in the UK and developing countries. We have also worked directly with companies to encourage them to be more responsible about tax.

At national level, our campaign to require multinationals to reveal more about their global finances scored a massive success in January 2016, when the then UK Chancellor, George Osborne, publicly accepted the need for such a reform. This paved the way for an even bigger breakthrough later in 2016, when Parliament changed the law to allow the Government to require much greater transparency from multinationals. This could help reduce corporate tax dodging in the UK and across the world, including in developing countries.

At local level, meanwhile, supporters convinced dozens of councils to discuss how they can use their considerable purchasing power to influence companies’ tax practices, in the UK and abroad. Campaiging work has so far been especially successful in Northern Ireland, where the national Assembly and Belfast City council are among those that agreed to ask potential suppliers whether they have been in tax trouble.

As well as working with political decision makers, Christian Aid staff and supporters have worked directly with companies to try to influence their tax practices. In November 2015, Christian Aid, ActionAid and Oxfam together published ‘Getting to Good’, a report that sets out for companies what socially responsible tax behaviour looks like.

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