|Tax Havens Report|
Tax havens, many of them British, are robbing the UK and developing countries alike of billions of pounds in government revenue every year - money that could be spent on public services and anti-poverty programmes, says a report by War on Want, PCS and the Tax Justice Network.
22nd July 2011 - Published by War on Want
The report calculates that the UK exchequer loses up to £18bn annually in lost revenue to tax havens, while developing countries are deprived of anything up to 10 times that sum through the same channel every year.
That means hundreds of billions of pounds which could be spent on public services and anti-poverty programmes, but which instead are being spirited away to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands or Jersey and Guernsey.
The report, authored by Richard Murphy, provides a useful list of tax havens around the world ranked according to their level of financial secrecy.
It also recommends a number of concrete measures to tackle tax haven abuse - many of which the UK government could adopt immediately, if it had the political will.
Although the London summit of the G20 in 2009 pledged to crack down on tax havens, almost nothing has been done since to stem the abuse.
At the parliamentary launch of the report on 12 July 2011, MPs such as David Hanson, Caroline Lucas and Stephen Timms spoke of the importance of taking forward work to end the scandal of tax havens.
John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, told the launch about plans to make country-by-country reporting by companies a condition of listing on the London Stock Exchange - a policy that War on Want hopes could be adopted by the Labour Party in its current policy review.
War on Want will continue to work with PCS and others in the tax justice movement to end the scandal of tax havens, particularly focusing on this year's G20 in France as an opportunity to press for national and international action on the issue.
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