The motion came before cabinet in April for the second time after being deferred from the March meeting.
Although the proposal would cause council officers little or no extra work (and there would be no cost involved) the conservative cabinet has refused to endorse the motion, instead ruling that they will wait for the new rules to be introduced to councils in due course.
Currently, Devon County Council legally complies with government requirements on rooting out suppliers which have broken the law on evading tax.
The council also complies with government requirements on asking suppliers to disclose whether they have practiced aggressive tax avoidance on contracts worth over £5m.
My motion, which is linked to the Fair Tax Mark campaign – see – http://www.fairtaxmark.net/who-we-are/ec/ – calls on the council to reduce the threshold for disclosing aggressive tax avoidance practices, down to contracts worth £164,000.
There is a provision in government guidance to allow councils to implement this and the cost to the council in taking this approach would be minimal.
There absolutely is no reason whatsoever why Devon County Council should not take up this motion, as increasing numbers of local authorities are doing across the country.
The subject of tax avoidance is a public scandal while at the same time the government while paying lip service to tackling it, is well on the way to slashing all funding from councils. By 2020 the only funding available for council provided public services will be from council tax and business rates. The government grant will have disappeared. What a legacy to UK citizens from the conservative government.
Even more of a reason why every council in England should get behind this initiative.
Devon County Council has a progressive enlightened reputation. I hope it lives up to it this Thursday.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 2.15pm. It will be webcast live here – http://www.devoncc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home