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Say no to tax avoidance for public service providers

Ethical Consumer has recently surveyed the 20 biggest companies now profiting from the privatisation of our public services.

The results show that some of these companies including Capita, G4S, Serco and Sodexo are amongst the least ethical in the UK.

One of the most disturbing findings of our survey is that 13 of the 20 biggest private companies now being awarded public service contracts by the government have subsidiaries in tax havens, places usually used by companies to avoid paying tax.

According to HM Revenue and Customs, corporate tax avoidance, which is perfectly legal, now costs the UK around £5 billion every year.

This means that as the government makes the most savage cuts to public spending in living memory, big companies that are now making huge profits from running our public services may not be paying their fair share of tax.

With NHS trusts across England now having to make £20 billion of cuts over the next four years, £5 billion would stop vital frontline health services and jobs from being axed for a whole year.

Following the publication of Ethical Consumer's research, an Early Day Motion was put before the House Of Commons asking the government to exclude companies with operations in tax havens from bidding for public service contracts.

If you want to help put a stop to big companies from dodging their tax responsibilities then please get your MP to sign our EDM.

For more information, see Ethical Consumer.

Simon Birch writes for Ethical Consumer magazine.

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