What is corruption?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

You can now listen to our Deputy Director Will McMahon and Professor David Whyte of the University of Liverpool talking about our recent report - Redefining Corruption - in a podcast on the Tax Justice Network website.

The report, based on a representative YouGov survey, asked the British public what they thought of certain commonplace practices to do with close relationships between public servants and private business. According to the report:

  • 73% agreed that ex-ministers should be banned from joining company boards if it meant they were profiting from experience gained while in office.
  • 75% felt that ex-civil servants should not become paid advisers to companies they have had a close working relationship with while in government.
  • 62% wanted a ban on accountancy companies using insider knowledge to advise clients on how to avoid tax.

The briefing also looks at public attitudes towards government contracts with private sector providers:

  • 68% were in favour of a ban on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts for buildings like new hospitals and schools, because of the large profits made on such deals by the private sector.
  • In the case of private companies being found to breach agreements with the government to boost profits, 10% said they felt the government should be held accountable for such failure, 33% said the company should be held responsible and 44% said both government and company should be brought to account.

The report was covered in the i newspaper, and a letter about it by Will was published in The Guardian