Councillors are being urged to bring in measures preventing the award of local authority contracts to companies who use legal loopholes to avoid paying full taxes.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Stuart Kelly is calling on Wirral’s Council to introduce measures to ensure that its contracts are only awarded to companies who run their businesses in an ethical way.
Councillor Kelly has written two motions to the council meeting next week calling on the council to strengthen its procedures.
He said: “Two issues which have made people angry recently are the way many large companies are finding legal means of avoiding paying a fair share in tax, and the scandal of the discovery of the existence of a ‘blacklist’ discriminating against members of trade unions.
“We need to ensure that the companies being paid with tax payers money pay their fair share of tax in the UK, are not connected with any off-shore tax havens, and do not discriminate against groups of workers.
Councillor Kelly continued: “Millions of people and businesses who pay their taxes, work hard, aspire to do the right things for themselves and their families and are quite rightly angered when these practices are uncovered – giving good ethical businesses a bad name.
“Wirral Council procures millions of pounds of goods and services a year, and it is important to ensure that the companies it awards contracts to are playing by the same tax rules as Wirral taxpayers.
“Putting new guidelines in place will reassure local council tax payers that their money is not being used to prop up organisations unethically hiding their money overseas or involved in operating blacklisting.”
Part of the motion calls on the council to urge the government to extend measures designed to make all companies pay fair taxation based on genuine profit levels.
It also calls on the Labour-controlled council cabinet to work with the Local Government Association to bring forward legally binding procurement rules requiring companies delivering and bidding for delivery of public service contracts, to demonstrate high ethical, environmental and anti-tax avoidance standards.