| Prem Sikka |
|Born||Prem Nath Sikka|
1 August 1951
|Alma mater||London School of Economics, University of Sheffield, Open University|
Prem Sikka is a British-Indian accountant and academic, who is Emeritus Professor of Accounting at University of Essex and University of Sheffield. He was nominated for a life peerage in the 2020 Political Honours and created Baron Sikka, of Kingswood in Basildon in the County of Essex on 10 September.
Prem Sikka is a co-founder of the Tax Justice Network (TJN), and has served as a Senior Adviser to it since its establishment in 2002. Through the TJN he became involved in politics, briefing the Socialist Campaign Group before becoming involved in policy development for Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell during their time as Labour Party leader and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer respectively, working on issues related to tax, corporate governance and executive pay.
On 19 September 2022, under the aegis of the Rescue Britain campaign, Lord Sikka published a 46-page report entitled "Energy Price and Cost of Living Crisis: A Crisis of Poverty, Inequality, Democracy and Failed Economic Policies". The report's Executive Summary reads as follows:
"British people are facing an existential threat to their lives and living standards. The crisis is given visibility by escalating energy prices, but has been incubating since the late 1970s. It has been nurtured by neoliberalism and the state-corporations nexus, which has systematically sought to increase capital’s share of gross domestic product (GDP).
"The masses have been systematically impoverished as successive governments have sought to weaken trade unions, employment and welfare rights and pushed zero-hour contracts, fire and rehire policies to reduce workers’ share of gross domestic product. Poverty and inequalities have deepened, creating a class excluded from social consumption, queuing at food banks and forced to decide between heating and eating. The biggest beneficiaries from this have been footloose corporations. Their profits have rocketed. Unsurprisingly, millions of Brits are unable to pay energy, food and other bills.
"The power of corporations has been further enhanced by state-sponsored privatisation of publicly-owned assets and industries, often at knockdown prices. The energy sector is an example of the state-sponsored private monopolies. In this sector there can be no competition as competing infrastructure consisting of alternative pipelines, electric grids and cables is economically infeasible.
"Households and businesses have to buy energy. With captive customers, the energy sector has been able to make huge profits. Large parts of these are exported via dividends and other forms of returns, which are not even taxed in the UK.
"The regulator, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), has been more concerned about pseudo-competition and guaranteeing corporate profits and has failed to protect the interests of consumers. It is inherently conflicted as it simultaneously seeks to protect corporate profits whilst trying to protect customers. Ofgem’s price cap formula is fundamentally flawed as it favours the most inefficient and expensive supplier. Suppliers offering cheaper tariffs are penalised and forced to compensate the losing suppliers.
"The problem of high energy prices cannot be resolved by privatisation or neoliberal economics where wealth gushes upwards. This paper puts forward policies for equitable distribution of income and wealth to reduce poverty and economic inequalities, the root cause of the daily crisis faced by millions of people. It recommends progressive taxation and democratisation of corporations, so that they serve the interests of communities and people rather than just shareholders and executives. It recommends that essential industries, such as energy, be brought into public ownership. It shows that there is very little cost associated with bringing energy, and other essential industries, into public ownership."
On 23 September 2022, commenting on Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's mini-budget, Lord Sikka said:
"This mini-budget will only increase inequality and poverty. The biggest winners are corporations and the rich. As a result, the government’s borrowing will surge from £72.4bn, to £234.1bn, but won’t provide details of the impact on current and future generations.
"The Chancellor hopes that the handouts to the rich will generate economic growth of about 2.5%, which was the norm before the Tories came to power in 2010. He is relying on about 30%-40% of the rich to generate this growth. Buying artworks, second homes and yachts and speculating on shares generates little economic activity. Nearly half of the population receives little of the economic gain and can’t help to stimulate the economy.
"This divisive mini-budget will exacerbate inequalities and poverty and increase social tensions."
Prem Sikka's academic research has examined problems in auditing, tax avoidance, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance. According to Google Scholar, the following academic publications by Sikka have been cited over 100 times as of January 2019:
- Sikka, P. (2009) Financial crisis and the silence of the auditors. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34 (6-7), 868–873.
- Sikka, P., & Willmott, H. (1995). The power of independence: defending and extending the jurisdiction of accounting in the UK. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 20(6), 547–581.
- Sikka, P., Puxty, A., Willmott, H., & Cooper, C. (1998). The impossibility of eliminating the expectations gap: some theory and evidence. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 9(3), 299–330.
- Sikka, P., & Willmott, H. (2010). The dark side of transfer pricing: Its role in tax avoidance and wealth retentiveness. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 21(4), 342–356.
- Arnold, P. J., & Sikka, P. (2001). Globalization and the state–profession relationship: the case the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26(6), 475–499.
- Sikka, P. (2010, September). Smoke and mirrors: Corporate social responsibility and tax avoidance. Accounting Forum, 34(3-4), 153–168.
- Sikka, P., Willmott, H., & Lowe, T. (1989). Guardians of Knowledge and Public Interest: Evidence and Issues of Accountability in the UK Accountancy Profession. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 2(2).
- Hammond, T., & Sikka, P. (1996). Radicalizing accounting history: the potential of oral history. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 9(3), 79–97.
- Sikka, P. (2008). Enterprise culture and accountancy firms: new masters of the universe. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 21(2), 268–295.
- Mitchell, A., Puxty, T., Sikka, P., & Willmott, H. (1994). Ethical statements as smokescreens for sectional interests: The case of the UK accountancy profession. Journal of Business Ethics, 13(1), 39–51.
- Mitchell, A., Sikka, P., & Willmott, H. (1998). Sweeping it under the carpet: The role of accountancy firms in moneylaundering. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 23(5-6), 589–607.
- Sikka, P., & Willmott, H. (1995). Illuminating the state-profession relationship: accountants acting as department of trade and industry investigators. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 6(4), 341–369.
- Mitchell, A., & Sikka, P. (1993). Accounting for change: The institutions of accountancy. Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 4(1), 29–52.
- Sikka, P., Willmott, H., & Puxty, T. (1995). The mountains are still there: Accounting academics and the bearings of intellectuals. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 8(3), 113–140.
- Sikka, P., & Hampton, M. P. (2005). The role of accountancy firms in tax avoidance: Some evidence and issues. Accounting Forum, 29(3), 325–343.
A Document by Prem Sikka
|Title||Document type||Publication date||Subject(s)||Description|
|Document:Antidote to Privatisation is Public Ownership||Report||19 September 2022||Privatisation|
|"The report recommends progressive taxation and democratisation of corporations, so that they serve the interests of communities and people rather than just shareholders and executives. It recommends that essential industries, such as energy, be brought into public ownership. It shows that there is very little cost associated with bringing energy, and other essential industries, into public ownership."|
Event Participated in
|International Festival of Whistleblowing Dissent and Accountability||8 May 2021||8 May 2021||Internet||Whistleblowing event held in 2021.|
- ↑ "INTERVIEW: Prem Sikka on joining the House of Lords as a socialist academic"
- ↑ "There is no economic case for austerity. Here’s why."
- ↑ "Energy Price and Cost of Living Crisis: A Crisis of Poverty, Inequality, Democracy and Failed Economic Policies"
- ↑ "Prem Sikka: This mini-budget will only increase inequality and poverty"
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