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Northern Ireland councils take stand against tax dodging

Christian Aid’s 'Sourced' campaign has been making waves in Northern Ireland.

The campaign is calling on local councils to ask searching questions of the companies that they do business with, regarding their tax affairs.

The result of these questions would be to send out a strong message to companies that those receiving lucrative tax and rate-payer funded contracts are expected to pay a fair amount of tax themselves.

Four councils in Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Lisburn and Castlereagh Council, Antrim and Newtownabbey and Ards and North Down, have already put in place these measures.

DUP Councillor Peter Martin from Ards and North Down Council said, 'Christian Aid has proposed a new, more ethical way of doing business and we’re supporting it. This will ensure that when we buy goods or services, they are from a company who pays the appropriate rate of tax.'

UUP Councillor Alan Chambers from Ards and North Down Council said, 'We need to ensure all businesses and traders can compete on a level playing field to provide goods and services. Tax avoidance and evasion hurts our local economy and in particular it harms some of the world’s poorest countries.'

DUP Councillor Tom Smith from Ards and North Down Council added, 'The public are rightly angry that some larger companies are able to flout our tax laws with impunity, paying such a miserly rate of tax that even Ebenezer Scrooge would blush with embarrassment.'

Sinn Féin Councillor Michael Goodman from Antrim and Newtownabbey said, 'Tax evasion is a serious subject and should be treated as such, and condemned by everyone.' Whilst it is wonderful that four councils in Northern Ireland have taken this step, there are another seven councils who haven’t yet incorporated these measures. 

We need the help of you, our supporters, to raise these issues with your local councillors.  You can do this online or by contacting your local councillors directly.

 

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