Bidders for Council contracts will need to demonstrate they're fully tax compliant

Cllr Paul Findlow

Cheshire East Council is to change its procurement rules in order to prevent tax evading and unscrupulous tax avoiding companies from securing contracts with the authority.

It follows a motion put to cabinet by ward members, who called on the council to adopt beefed-up central government rules on awarding contracts worth £5m or above.

A meeting of cabinet unanimously backed the motion, brought by Crewe ward member Councillor Steven Hogben and Sandbach ward member Councillor Sam Corcoran.

The decision means that, from January 1st 2017, all companies bidding for contracts of £5m or more will be required to self certify that they are 'fully tax compliant' in line with the UK government's latest procurement rules.

Councillor Paul Findlow, cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, said: "My cabinet colleagues and I wholeheartedly support this decision.

"This Council believes it is right that bidders for council contracts should be asked to account fully for their past tax records, using the higher standards adopted by central government.

"Tax evasion and sharp-practice avoidance is simply wrong. This is about ensuring good practice and this council will not do business with those who seek to shirk their responsibilities at the expense of the taxpayer and the vast majority of responsible, tax-compliant companies."

HMRC estimates that tax evasion costs the UK economy £4.4billion last year with a further £2.7bn lost due to 'dubious' tax avoidance

Cllr Corcoran added: "Aggressive tax avoidance is becoming socially unacceptable. I am pleased that no businesses that engage in such practices will be awarded large contracts by Cheshire East Council.

"Businesses and individuals should be proud to pay their fair share of the taxes that protect our nation, support the most vulnerable in society and provide for the services that we all use."

Photo: Councillor Paul Findlow.

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Chris Wigley
Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 3:17 pm
Does this mean that the Daily Mail will cease to be available in Cheshire East libraries, as its proprietor, despite being born in the UK and attending Eton is a non-domicile for tax reasons whilst the newspaper has a complex corporate structure through the Channel Islands and Bahama?
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 3:54 pm
Also no Starbucks, Amazon deliveries, Googling, Facebooking, buying fuel etc etc. On the whole good news as the profligate bunch will find it harder to waste our cash.
James MacDonald
Wednesday 16th November 2016 at 10:11 pm
Will they demonstrate there is no conflict of interests? No family ties, friends, no shareholding, etc.
Peter Evans
Thursday 17th November 2016 at 8:56 pm
Note that it is a "self certification" mechanism, so I do wonder what the scale of success will be and what level of improvement results from this scheme. Possibly nothing. So, I wonder how long our dubious worthies debated this and how much the whole analysis and approval process took - for a scheme that may yield little real benefit. As ever, you can't make up how useless and inefficient this organisation is.
Just wish I had a choice about "procuring" my local services from CEC...