Now consumers can choose to shop where they see the Fair Tax Mark

June 13th, 2013 15 Comments By Thewlis

fair tax mark 300x267 Now consumers can choose to shop where they see the Fair Tax MarkWhen it was first mooted, it was a bit of a joke, but following the consumer backlash against Starbucks, resulting in them promising to make ‘voluntary’ additional tax payments and growing consumer grumblings about boycotting the worst tax offenders, the new fair tax mark has indeed come into existence.

With the same kind of idea as the fairtrade badge, where consumers can choose whether they spend their money on items that are fairtrade or not, the fair tax campaign think their mark is “a unique tool aimed at setting a high standard of corporate behaviour and transparency relating to tax.”

Today, the first set of rankings have been released, where 25 of the UK’s largest retailers (note this is UK companies, so Amazon is not included as it is not a UK company) have been scrutinised on three separate measures,; whether they report their earnings by each country, how close their effective tax rate is to the headline rate, and whether they have subsidiary companies in tax havens. Only companies with a score of 12-15 (out of 15) will get the all-important badge.

The results of the retail sector can be seen here. Top of the shop is George Osborne’s favourite Greggs with an impressive 15 out of 15, closely followed by wine retailer Majestic, which has seen impressive growth over the past few years since no-one can afford to pay pub prices any more, with a score of 14. These two are the only two UK retailers to earn a Fair Tax Mark.

At the bottom end, Carphone Warehouse, Home Retail (Argos), Sainsburys and WH Smith all languish on just 2 points, with Tesco and N Brown Plc (clothing) just a point higher on 3. Tesco apparently got all defensive claiming their tax rate is low because of Government subsidies to encourage investment and job creation.  Not sure what the 50+ tax haven subsidiaries have to do with the Government though.

The plan is to roll out the judgment to various other sectors in due course.

Comments (15) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by Daisy Duke June 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I foresee the Chief Accountants at Greggs and Majestic being fired right about… now.

  2. Posted by Yog S June 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    This is a good move.

  3. Posted by jaffacake June 13, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    do we all think that money given to the government in the form of tax is spent wisely?
    I get the impression it’s largely wasted on inefficient bureaucracy, unnecessary overpaid politicians wages and supporting adult population who can work but have enough sense not to. if I could conform to all laws and not pay tax, how stupid would I be to voluntarily give to the above causes?

  4. Posted by james June 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    if that’s the logo then it’s a bit crap isn’t it? What is is supposed to represent apart from a cross and a heart?

  5. Posted by Dick June 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    There you have it everyone’s fab phone dealer cpw doing the bit, or less off, fuck you Dunstone my money is going elsewhere from now on

  6. Posted by Captain.Cretin June 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Gregs and Majestic.

    It’s a bit of a restricted diet….

    On the other hand, getting pissed and have a pasty is probably the dream diet for many council tenants.


  7. Posted by Sicknote June 14, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Hmm, fair tax – what does that mean anyway. How much tax is fair tax…?

  8. Posted by Mustapha Shit June 14, 2013 at 9:42 am


    If only paying the amount of tax they’re supposed to isn’t good enough, why not just change the tax laws instead of trying to ‘guilt’ companies in to paying a few quid more or trying to confuse the less informed individuals that what Google etc are doing is illegal.

    Lets ban ISA’s too then, or letting charitable donations being a tax break. Oh, is that not a popular move? Cameron needs to grow a fucking pair.

  9. Posted by Alexis June 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I suspect a lot more self employed people will be getting more creative on their tax returns this year after all the stuff in the news.

  10. Posted by kv June 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I see this lasting about 5 minutes til when there is a legal challenge over this.
    All the other retailers are acting within the law with their tax payments.
    If the government have issues with this they should change the relevant tax laws and close the loopholes, simples.

  11. Posted by Justin Manchester AfterDark June 14, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Successive governments and councils overspending unwisely, and not too little incoming tax revenue, was always the problem.

    The government bails out the banks with public money, and now businesses are expected to bail out the government with earned profits.

  12. Posted by Strawbear June 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Would it be so hard for you lot to post some links to the things you talk about?

  13. Posted by Dick June 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I might print off a few and stick them in random shop windows.

  14. Posted by Kevin June 14, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Ignores the point that they pay what they legally have to.
    Something based on a moral issue doesn’t deserve a logo.

  15. I feel that this is the squandering of the hard earned public goodwill that the Tax Justice movement has built up over many years.

    Many members of the public trust Tax Justice campaigners to be truthfully commenting on tax issues that they themselves don’t have full knowledge of.

    But this campaign is little more than propaganda.

    The days of name and shame have been flogged to death, if we don’t have sensible discussion with companies now, that public trust will wither and die.

    I suggest to readers to invest a little time looking at these companies yourself before blindly following an insulting campaign like this.

    Paul Connolly

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