Tax survey highlights SSE’s contribution to UK plc

Britain’s biggest businesses, which include SSE, increased their total tax contributions by £0.5 billion last year.

Total tax contributed by the UK’s top 100 Group companies increased from £77.1 billion in 2012 to £77.6 billion in 2013. The rise came despite a decline in profits earned in the UK by these businesses.

SSE ranks as one of the most significant taxpayers in the UK, according to the report by accountants PwC.

Although the tax SSE pays varies from year to year, the company paid £310 million in UK taxes alone in 2013, giving it a ranking of 22nd among the survey participants.

SSE also collected a further £226 million of employment taxes and environmental taxes, resulting in combined tax contributions totalling £536 million.

The report said that the companies surveyed also play a significant role in the provision of employment, training and vital infrastructure and services.

SSE employs around 20,000 people and invests over £4 million a day, providing community investment and local employment across the UK.

Gregor Alexander, Finance Director at SSE, said: “As a major UK taxpayer, SSE is proud of our fair contribution to UK plc and the economic prosperity of the country.

“We believe in paying our way in the UK, earning the right to make a profit and then putting that profit to good use. SSE is also at the heart of the communities in which we operate, providing jobs and investment in local economies.”

Robin Freestone, Chairman of The 100 Group [which represents the views of finance directors of FTSE 100 and other companies], added: “The total tax contribution of Britain’s biggest businesses increased in the year to March 2013, despite challenging economic conditions at that time.

“Government’s rebalancing of business taxes away from corporation tax appears to have played a role in helping to incentivise increased levels of UK employment, as well as investment and research and development. These are now helping to stimulate UK economic activity and growth.”

Taxes represent only one element of the wider contribution to the UK economy by the UK’s largest companies.

The companies employ over 2.1m people (7.2% of the UK workforce) who have seen an average wage increase of 2.5%. They have also invested over £26bn in fixed assets (21.4% of UK business investment) and over £5bn in business Research and Development (31.1% of UK business R&D spend).