NASUWT: Chancellor must end tax system that enables greed to flourish

As millions of public sector workers prepare for industrial action over the Government’s attacks on pensions, the NASUWT is backing a report that demonstrates the staggering amount of money lost each year as a result of corporate tax avoidance.

The report, Global Corporate Taxation and Resources for Quality Public Services, has been produced by Education International (EI).

The report’s findings show that total revenues from corporate taxes are falling and that multinational companies are exploiting legal loopholes to reduce the amount they pay each year in tax.

At the same time millions of teachers and other public sector workers face the prospect of pensions changes which will mean paying more, working longer and receiving considerably less when they retire.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The Coalition Government may claim that we are ‘all in this together’ but actions speak louder than words.

“Today’s report once again demonstrates that there is an alternative way to deliver deficit reduction whilst ensuring high quality public services for all.

“Instead of attacking the pensions of ordinary public sector workers, this report confirms that the Government should give priority to stopping billions of pounds being lost each year through tax avoidance and tax evasion by multinationals and the super rich.

“There is no evidence that public sector pensions are unaffordable or unsustainable, yet today’s report confirms the eye watering sums being lost annually as a result of a tax system that enables greed to flourish.

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer has the opportunity in his Autumn Statement tomorrow to signal that he will change course to achieve a responsible plan for deficit reduction.

“The NASUWT wrote to the Chancellor over a year ago setting out a ten-point plan to tackle the budget deficit. Our proposals are endorsed in the EI report published today.

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer must now take seriously the weight of national and international evidence in support of a financial transactions tax on banks and financial institutions which caused the global financial crisis in the first place.

“The measures outlined in today’s report would avoid cuts to public services, save jobs and provide a sustainable approach to economic recovery.”


Notes to Editors

Education International (EI) is the global teacher organisation representing over 30 million teachers in more than 170 countries and territories.

The NASUWT is an affiliate of Education International. The NASUWT Deputy General Secretary is an elected member of the EI World Executive Board.

The NASUWT’s ten-point alternative to cutting public services:

1. real terms increases, year on year, in per pupil funding;
2. investment in the school building stock to create environments that meet the learning needs of children and young people in the 21st century, as well as providing jobs for construction workers in the private sector and apprenticeship opportunities for young people who are bearing the brunt of unemployment during this recession. The starting point would be to honour, in full, the building programme of hundreds of schools, which has been stopped;
3. a cap on school balances, to prevent schools storing up excessive balances, and redistribution of the £2.3 billion currently sitting in school balances to maximise the use of the funding available;
4. effective measures to maximise value for money and quality across the education system by establishing procurement and commissioning arrangements that end the waste of allowing each of the 22,000 schools in England to be individual spending units;
5. investment in extending access to wider services for children and families to remove barriers to learning and support the most vulnerable by, for example, establishing a national framework for special educational needs;
6. an additional £2 billion over and above current education spending to deliver a pupil premium targeted at the most vulnerable pupils;
7. maintaining public sector jobs, which is the best way to stimulate growth in the private sector. Cuts of only 10% in the public sector will lead to an estimated 200,000 job losses and wipe out £17 billion off spending in the private sector. The up to 40% cuts being considered will have a catastrophic adverse effect on both the public and private sectors;
8. measures to ensure that the private sector provides decent occupational pensions for employees, thus removing the current disproportionate burden placed on every tax payer by the failure of some private sector employers to do this. In addition, there should be an end to the £10 billion per year tax relief burden paid by every tax payer currently to subsidise the top 1% of earners;
9. rigorous collection of the current estimated £25 billion lost to the Treasury each year as a result of tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and large corporations;
10. support, implementation and promotion of the ‘Robin Hood Tax’ of 0.05% on banks and financial transactions, which, alone, would raise sufficient tax revenue to halve the country’s deficit in one year and would obviate the need to make ordinary families and public services pay the price for the recklessness and greed of the banks and bankers that caused this economic crisis.

Stuart Gannon
NASUWT Press Office

Tel: 020 7420 9681
Mobile (and out of hours contact): 07966 198894
Address: 5 King Street , Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8SD