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Fair Tax Week: saying what we pay with pride

Category : News

SSE Business Energy seeks to create a culture of pride in tax and inspire others to do the right thing.

As an early champion of the Fair Tax Mark movement, SSE is sponsoring Fair Tax Week for the second year running. “Say what you pay with pride” is the message for this year’s event, which runs from 6-14 July 2019.

The week is a UK-wide celebration of companies and organisations committed to paying their fair share of corporation tax, and an opportunity to explore the positive contribution this makes to society.

SSE Finance Director, Gregor Alexander, said the event shines a light on the tax debate and SSE is delighted to be sponsoring it again.

He said: “We’re proud to have been reaccredited with our fifth Fair Tax Mark and to see the growth of the organisation and, importantly, the tax debate since we first achieved the independent kitemark in 2014.

“Utilities provide an essential service and it’s only right they hold themselves to high standards and we’re delighted to be co-sponsoring Fair Tax Week with Pennon, the most recent FTSE company to join the growing list of businesses placing importance on tax transparency.”

Estimates vary but around £535 billion of global corporate profits are shifted annually to tax havens, with corporate tax revenue losses in the UK of approximately £7 billion each year.

SSE was the first FTSE 100 company to be accredited with the Fair Tax Mark in 2014 and has been awarded the mark every year since. SSE has committed to transparent tax policies, no offshoring, and paying the right tax, at the right time and in the right way.

The Fair Tax Mark is the only scheme of its kind in the UK and was established in response to widespread public concern about apparent tax avoidance.

Chief Executive of the Fair Tax Mark, Paul Monaghan, said: “Corporation tax is often presented as a burden, but it shouldn’t be. Not when considered against the huge array of public services it helps fund – from education, health and social care to flood defence, roads, policing and defence.

“During Fair Tax Week we’re celebrating the organisations that are proud to pay the right amount of tax for the benefit of all and to ensure a level playing field for businesses. We are delighted Pennon Group plc and SSE plc are supporting this year’s Fair Tax Week.”

SSE was proud to sponsor the Fair Tax Mark parliamentary reception in the Palace of Westminster in June. Gregor spoke at the reception to outline SSE’s commitment to the Fair Tax Mark movement and encouraged more businesses to join.

He said: “SSE is the largest generator of renewable energy in the UK, transporting electricity to homes and businesses in the north of Scotland and south of England. Unsurprisingly being in such a position requires significant capital expenditure. Over the last decade, SSE has invested an average of £1.5 billion a year and we have just completed the largest ever private investment in Scotland in the shape of Beatrice offshore wind farm.

“With that scale comes significant environmental and social responsibility. To us – from top to bottom – there are basic principles that businesses must get right.

“Firstly, the people who work for us – directly or in our supply chain – must be treated properly, given opportunity to progress and paid at least the real Living Wage. In June, we also announced that we were one of the first organisations to seek ‘Living Hours’ accreditation – the positive antidote to exploitative zero-hour contracts and the gig economy.

“Secondly, as the move to a zero-carbon economy gathers an ever-increasing pace, we must do all we can to protect and enhance the environments and communities in which our assets are built, maintained and operated.

“Finally, we must properly connect with wider society. When we earn profit from our activities – we must pay our fair share of tax. Above all, tax is the centre of the social contract.”

Would you like to show customers and stakeholders that your business pays tax fairly? To make it easy to get going, we’ve developed a Fair Tax Mark Interactive Assessment. You can use this to help your business work towards attaining the Fair Tax Mark accreditation.

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