Motion highlighting problem of tax evasion gains cross-party support

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A motion highlighting the issue of tax avoidance and evasion gained cross-party support at Antrim and Newtownabbey Council’s monthly meeting on February 29.

The motion, which was proposed by Cllr Matthew Magill and seconded by Ald Tom Campbell read: “That this council notes the importance of curtailing tax avoidance and evasion to create a sound market economy in which all traders can compete on a level playing field.”

The item was an attempt to raise awareness of the issue and its damaging affects on society, and also to ensure that those bidding for future council contracts adhere to the tax system.

Speaking after the meeting, Democratic Unionist Party Cllr Magill said: “I am delighted that the motion has received the support of the council and I thank my colleague Alderman Tom Campbell for seconding the motion.

“I have been working with Christian Aid recently to bring this issue to the council and raise awareness of the damaging affects that tax evasion and avoidance has on the world economy, particularly the economies of poorer countries.”

He added: “It has been estimated that tax dodging costs these countries some $160 billion per annum. The adopted change to the council’s procurement process will ensure that bidders for council contracts exceeding the EU threshold of £173,000 self-certify that they are fully tax compliant both at home and abroad.”