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Sourced Campaign successes in the North East

Bernard PidcockWho likes paying tax? Most of us don’t, but realise that we need to make a contribution, as responsible citizens, to the public purse. We want good public services, and we realise that we need to pay for them.

Christine Savage, from St Paul’s Church in Dudley, is a volunteer with Christian Aid, and has been working on the ‘Sourced’ campaign.

Christine said: ‘We want to see that the tax system is fair and equitable. When it comes to some of the larger multinational companies, the same rules do not seem to apply, and this is bad news for us ordinary citizens.'

Citizens in developing countries need multinationals to pay tax on their profits 

'It is even worse news for citizens in developing countries,' she continued. 'Corporate tax dodging is costing developing countries up to $300 billion every year - a huge amount of money, and far more than they receive in aid.

'They need the income they generate to spend on services like healthcare, education, and investment in infrastructure - and they need the multinationals that operate in their countries to pay the tax on profits they make in their countries.’

Four councils so far are considering our request

As individuals, we can put pressure on our local councils, which spend billions every year on goods and services. Christian Aid wants these councils to insist on minimum ethical tax standards from the companies they do business with.

In the North East, we have approached every council to change their procurement policies, so that large businesses are required to be more transparent about their tax dealings and specifically about any investigations for aggressive tax avoidance (not just prosecutions). 

Ultimately, councils could decide to exclude a company from the bidding process on the basis of the information provided about their tax record. To date, four of our councils are considering our request to change their procurement policies, and we hope that before the end of the campaign, more of them will have debated our tax justice motion.

'How we spend has an impact on others'

The first council to work with us was Northumberland, where the motion was sponsored by Councillor Bernard Pidcock (pictured). He explained why he was keen to sponsor the motion:

‘I support this motion because, as usual, greedy, selfish people have all the resources, unfairly leaving millions with next to nothing. Those poor are condemned to a mean and squalid existence. I am deeply ashamed of this inequality of which I am a part.’

Rev Angela Maughan, vicar of Weetslade parish, was involved as a supporter, and has asked her council to adopt the Christian Aid motion – and this is why:

‘Jesus calls us to get involved and "set the downtrodden free". How we spend and invest has an impact on others at every level of society. This campaign helps us make a difference.’

Find out more about the Sourced Campaign.

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How we can help 

Your local Christian Aid team is on hand to:

- provide speakers
- run workshops
- provide resources
- promote your event
- offer advice & support

Contact your local office to find out more.