Tax avoidance protest to be staged in Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 14:37 22 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:40 25 January 2016
A county councillor who ran to represent East Devon is urging MP Hugo Swire to act on the 'modern scourge' of tax avoidance.
Claire Wright hopes to get the Tory member’s attention with a demonstration outside the Sidmouth Conservative Club next Monday (February 1) – ahead of a vote penned for February 3.
She said although the practice is ‘perfectly legal’ it is ‘quite wrong’ when public services are being to cut to unsustainable levels.
Councillor Wright, who stood as an independent Parliamentary candidate last May, said: “Tax avoidance by massively wealthy corporate giants is being practised on a monumental scale, and the Government seems reluctant to do little if anything about it.
“Even HMRC has been criticized by the public accounts committee for its poor record on dealing with the problem.
“In Devon, the amount of corporation tax avoided could mean a further income of around £380m if it was all collected.
“I have written to Mr Swire asking him to vote and speak against the massive funding cuts proposed for councils.
“And tackle the tax avoidance scourge – I believe that the vote in the House of Commons on this will be held on February 3, so the demo is designed to raise awareness of this issue just before MPs go to the vote.”
She added: “It is really important that there is a big turnout to give a clear message that we think it is unacceptable that our council services are being cut so severely, while the government does little or nothing to address the persistent loopholes in the tax system.”
The protest will begin at 11am.
Participants are asked to take their own placards.