War on Want boosts campaign against UK tax havens

By staff writers
August 17, 2013

The global development NGO War on Want is calling on supporters to take action to help abolish the UK’s tax havens as soon as possible.

The UK is responsible for many of the world’s most significant tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

These Overseas Territories allow rich individuals and multinational companies to dodge taxes around the world, increasing their wealth and power rather than tackling poverty and funding public services.

This summer there has been a lot of talk from David Cameron about tackling tax havens, and about how he is "getting the UK’s house in order", War on Want notes.

In June the Prime Minister staged a summit, asking the UK’s tax havens to sign an agreement to promise to work together more effectively with other countries’ tax authorities.

The government claimed it was finally standing up to these tax havens.

"But Cameron’s deal just tinkered at the edges of the UK’s tax havens’ secrecy – it was all show and no substance. The truth is that the UK is still responsible for many of the world’s most significant tax havens," says Murray Worthy, the charity's Tax Justice campaigner.

"It's time to demand real action from the government to tackle the UK’s tax havens.

"Proper regulation is needed so that the UK’s Overseas Territories can’t be used to dodge tax. We need rules so that company owners can’t hide their identities, so that companies have to meet basic requirements like filing accounts, and so that effective taxes are applied to profits and wealth. This would mean that these jurisdictions would no longer be tax havens.

"The government is now proposing tougher rules to tackle tax evasion by disclosing the real owners of companies in the UK. This regulation would be a big step forwards. But these proposals completely leave out the UK’s tax havens.

"The UK government has even admitted it has the power to introduce regulation for the Overseas Territories, but it has failed to act. We would like people to join our call and email their MP now.

"The tide is turning against tax havens, but it is only through huge public pressure that governments will stand up to tax havens and the tax dodging companies that rely on them to boost their profits. Together we can end the UK’s role in this global scandal," he said today (16 August).

* End Tax Havens campaign - http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/tax-justice-now/tax-havens/action/179...

[Ekk/3]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.