Last week the Governing Body of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group agreed a plan to remove from its constitution the clause which prevents it from giving contracts to companies which practice tax avoidance.

We understand that it is likely that other CCGs with similar constitutional clauses will also move to remove them.

Bristol Protect our NHS was founded just over three years ago in response to a 38 Degrees campaign to amend the model constitutions of CCGs then in the process of being created. The inclusion of a clause preventing contracts going to tax-avoiders, and other clauses, was our first success. We know that groups in other parts of the country were also successful.

So this looks like the start of an initiative to counter those successes and make life more comfortable for the tax-avoiders.

This is astonishing timing given the almost daily reports about the immorality of tax-avoidance in the national media and the public distaste for it.

The paper agreed at yesterday’s Bristol CCG Governing Body is here:

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  1. rotzeichen says:

    Thank you for highlighting this Shaun, Who’s side are they on???

  2. Michael Fuller says:

    I do sympathise with the author but we are talking here about tax avoidance, which is legal, and not tax evasion, which is illegal. I suspect that the legal advice was based primarily on that important distinction. In which case, Bristol CCG has little choice if it wants to avoid a challenge in the Courts (which it would lose). The debate about tackling and penalising tax avoiders has to be dealt with through changes to the tax laws and not as a by-product of commissioning arrangements.

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