20 October 2014 - Christian Aid today welcomed the award of the Fair Tax Mark to the energy company SSE - the first FTSE 100 business to be entitled to use the symbol.
The mark, an independent accreditation process, was launched earlier this year as a joint venture between the Ethical Consumer Research Association, Tax Research UK and management consultants Up the Ethics.
It seeks to promote fair tax practices in the corporate world, particularly over matters such as financial transparency, and paying an appropriate amount of tax on profits.
In qualifying for the rating, SSE, the second largest energy suppliers in the UK, gave a public undertaking to refrain from using artificial tax avoidance schemes or tax havens to reduce its liabilities.
In addition, the group’s latest accounts show a breakdown of company activity on a country-by-country basis, indicating where profits were made, and what taxes were paid, in accordance with newly proposed OECD guidelines.
Such a breakdown provides critical information that can expose the use of subsidiaries in tax havens to help reduce tax bills. Providing this information in public is a good indication that a company has nothing to hide.
Christian Aid’s principle private sector adviser, Matti Kohonen, said today: “This is an encouraging start. The criteria for the award helps guard those holding it from the kind of reputational damage a number of multinationals have experienced as a result of their tax dodging antics.
“Our main concern at Christian Aid is the damage tax dodging does to poorer countries. SSE doesn’t trade in the developing world, but plenty of other companies on the FTSE 100 do. It would be good to see some of them now sign up.”
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk