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Corporate tax avoidance morally wrong, say marginal constituencies

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Ahead of next week’s general election, a new ComRes poll of UK marginal constituencies has indicated that tax avoidance could prove to be a decisive election issue as it reveals that 88% of adults in these marginal constituencies believe tax dodging by large companies is morally wrong, even if it is legal. The poll, commissioned by the Tax Dodging Bill Campaign and released ahead of the Question Time leaders debate, showed that anger about corporate tax avoidance was shared by adults of all voting intentions – with 90% of Conservative voters, 94% of Labour voters and 87% of UKIP voters all agreeing it is morally wrong.

Almost two-thirds believed political party promises to tackle tax avoidance have not gone far enough, and 84% of those living in 40 key battleground constituencies thought it was still too easy for large companies to avoid paying their tax in the UK. Most of those polled wanted greater corporate transparency, with 86% saying it was important to them that large companies which operate in the UK ensure their accounts in all countries are transparent and publicly available.

Christine Allen, head of policy and advocacy at Christian Aid, said: ‘The British public clearly understands what many companies do not – that corporate tax avoidance harms human beings and is morally wrong. Politicians of all parties should heed the extraordinary level of public demand for action against this scandal of our time.’ Nick Bryer, Oxfam’s head of UK campaigns and policy, added: ‘Taking tougher action on tax dodging should be a no-brainer for our politicians. It’s hugely popular with voters and would raise billions of pounds to tackle poverty both here in the UK and in poor countries.’