Third of people shun tax avoiding companies

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A ComRes survey for Christian Aid found a third (34%) of Brits say they are currently boycotting products or services of a company because it does not pay its fair share of tax in the UK. Almost half (45%) say they are considering a boycott, reports Harris & Co accountancy services.

Two out of three (66%) say they believe tax avoidance to be morally wrong, according to the survey – up 10% from when people were asked the same question in August 2012. Some 80% say that multinationals’ tax avoidance "makes them feel angry".

Almost three-quarters (72%) agreed the government has a responsibility to ensure that all UK-based companies pay the proper amount of tax in every country in which they operate, and eight out of ten people (84%) want to see more transparent and publicly available multinationals’ accounts.

‘In the run up to the Budget, which we hope the Chancellor will use to require companies to reveal more information about their tax avoidance in developing countries, this is heartening news,’ said Joseph Stead, senior economic justice adviser, Christian Aid.

‘The public clearly understands that the UK has a responsibility to ensure UK plc plays by the rules both home and away.

‘But what this survey also shows is that one in three people are actually prepared to change their buying habits and boycott some of the firms seen as not paying their fair share in the UK. This surely must be a wake-up call to all businesses,’ he added.

Government ministers’ criticism of aggressive tax avoidance has been noticed by the public, with the latest survey showing a rise in the proportion of people who agree that the government is showing a genuine desire to combat tax avoidance, up to 43% from 38% in August.


ComRes polled 2,270 adults online from 15 February to 17 February 2013.

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