Consumers angry over tax avoidance
Tax tops list of consumer concerns about corporate behaviour. Again.
Corporate tax is one of the top factors determining consumer trust in companies a new study has found. The survey by KPMG's Consumer Insights Panel and YouGov involving over 2,000 UK adults showed that a quarter of people considered a company's tax policy to be a key factor affecting trust.
Although coming third after 'fair pricing' and 'high quality products', tax was considered to be more important than treating suppliers and employees fairly, efforts to minimise the company's environmental impact and support for charities.
In worse news for corporate marketing departments, two thirds of those surveyed thought that companies do the 'bare minimum' when it comes to ethical behaviour and that they don't necessarily believe the claims companies make about their ethical practices.
Clearly mainstream consumers are becoming ever wiser to the efforts of corporate PR departments to paint their company in a positive light, while said company continues to operate entirely in its own profit-making interests. The survey shows that it is no longer enough for companies to say that they play by the rules, now they must prove it.
This survey comes less than a year after a poll conducted for the Institute of Business Ethics by IPSOS Mori found that corporate tax avoidance was the number one concern of the public when it came to business conduct.
The new KPMG survey attributed negative public opinions to media coverage of corporations exploiting tax loopholes and failing to be transparent about their business practices.
Liz Claydon, head of consumer markets at KPMG, suggested it was a communications problem: “The big players need to urgently fix this breakdown in communications and prove to consumers they are not merely paying lip-service to their corporate responsibility programmes.”
Responding to the report, tax campaigner and chartered accountant Richard Murphy suggested that concerned companies might want to apply for the Fair Tax Mark.
Find out more about our tax justice campaign including our boycott of Amazon.
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