The cabinet of Southend Borough Council has voted to back a motion proposed by Labour councillor Cheryl Nevin, seconded by fellow Milton councillor and Labour candidate for Southend West, Julian Ware-Lane, criticising the government's failure to tackle tax avoidance.
The motion notes that the Treasury loses up to £120 billion of tax due to tax avoidance by multinational corporations, whilst council budgets are stretched through austerity. Southend has seen its budget cut by almost £12 million for 2015/16 alone. It calls upon the government to take action to end the large-scale avoidance of tax.
Cllr Nevin was approached by a number of Southend residents asking her to support the motion, which is part of Action Aid's "Towns against Tax Dodging campaign".
Cheryl said, "I am delighted that the cross-party cabinet has seen the benefits this motion will bring to our town, and hope that this will put pressure on the government to reverse the trend of cutting tax collector posts across the UK. The money lost due to tax dodging could ease the strain of cuts on Southend, and many councils like it."
Julian Ware-Lane said, "I was delighted to be able to endorse Cllr Nevin's motion. Tax dodging robs local authorities of funds that would be spent on services such as libraries and care homes. We must have a robust and fair tax system."