Conditions on tax conduct, protecting jobs, global warming, executive pay and dividends have been revealed in the first “Project Birch” bailout of a company affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus.
However, the government’s welcome move comes despite a lack of similar strings being attached to loans given through the Bank of England’s coronavirus corporate finance facility. It remains unclear if conditions will be placed on future bailouts.
Tax Justice UK has been working with the Fair Tax Mark and other organisations to get the government to attach conditions to any deals it does with businesses. The Labour Party also voiced support for similar measures.
Announcing the first bailout for Cesla Steel which operates in Cardiff, the government confirmed the company would repay its rumoured £30 million loan in full and meet a series of legally-binding conditions on preserving jobs, tackling global warming and restraints on executive pay and bonuses, as well as tax obligations.
Tax Justice UK joined other groups to write to Prime Minister [insert letter] Boris Johnson to insist that similar conditions be applied to all Project Birch bailouts and other bailouts of major companies.