Wed 20 May, 2020

Any company which avoids its responsibility to contribute to society should not be getting handouts when things go wrong. Patrick Harvie

Scotland will not give taxpayer-funded Covid-19 bailouts to companies registered in tax havens, thanks to the Scottish Greens.

Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie pushed for the changes to emergency laws after several big businesses lobbied for bailouts despite paying very little tax. They are expected to pass later.

Countries across Europe including Denmark, France and Poland have already agreed that companies registered in tax havens will not receive taxpayer-funded Covid-19 bailouts.

Around 7,000 signed a petition by the party backing the move.

Responding, Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “Any company which avoids its responsibility to contribute to society should not be getting handouts when things go wrong. That’s why many European nations and Wales have already made this commitment.

“I’m delighted that Ministers finally saw sense on this basic issue of fairness. This move isn’t the final word, but it marks the beginning of a new approach to tackling the companies which shamelessly avoid paying tax, and we will continue to build on what’s been achieved today.

“If we are to build back a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland, then we cannot return to an economy which puts obscene levels of growth before the wellbeing of our citizens.

“It’s time for these companies and their owners to face up to their responsibilities. ‘Business as usual’ was causing poverty, inequality and environmental destruction, and it didn’t provide an adequate safety net for people in insecure jobs and homes. That needs to change.”

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