May tells Davos companies must pay their ‘fair share of tax’

Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has told the World Economic Forum at Davos that businesses need to pay their fair share of taxes as she argues the UK is set to become a leader in corporate governance.

Her speech to the meeting of business and political leaders comes two days after she threatened to turn the UK into a tax haven if the EU delivers her a bad Brexit.

Pitching Britain as a place that was global and open for business, May argued higher standards of corporate governance would “help make the UK the best place to invest of any major economy”.

She specified that this meant businesses “paying their fair share of tax, recognising their obligations and duties to their employees and supply chains, and trading in the right way”.

In addition, companies needed to invest in the communities and nations in which they operate, May told the audience. She also said steps needed to be made to address executive pay and accountability to shareholders.

May welcomed the World Economic Forum’s ‘Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership’ that businesses are being asked to sign up to at the conference.

Earlier this week, May outlined 12 objectives for a Brexit deal, including that the UK would not remain a member of the Customs Union, but would negotiate to maintain the elements of it that benefit the UK.

In that speech she warned EU leaders that the UK would reject any “bad” Brexit deal and instead introduce competitive tax rates and polices to attract companies and investors.