A report by James Henry
, formerly of Mckinsey’s, the IMF and the World Bank, has shown that the global elite hoard up to £21 trillion pounds in offshore tax havens, reigniting debate surrounding the morality and legality of tax avoidance by the super rich.
Details of the offshore hoardings come as the Government announce new plans to ‘name and shame’ individuals participating in tax evasion.
Move Your Money welcomes genuine attempts to close the ‘tax gap’ and recoup monies from wealthy individuals who all too often slip through the tax mans noose. However, if we are to serious about tackling tax avoidance we have to come down heavy on the banks that make it possible as well as the individuals involved.
Move Your Money UK spokesperson Louis Brooke said:
“Banks are the railroad tracks on which the global tax avoidance train runs. Banks like Barclays make no bones about being in the business of helping the super rich and big corporates avoid tax.
Its banks which structure the schemes, banks which offer places to hide the money andmove the money between a myriad of subsidiary companies in offshore tax havens”
The Government announcement also comes barely a month after tax department HMRC announced plans to slash a further 10,000 jobs, in a move sparking industrial action by PCS union
. Commentators are openly questioning how the Government can claim to be getting tough on tax on the one hand, and overseeing debilitating cuts to HMRC on the other, cuts which threaten the collection of more than £1.1billion in tax receipts.
Recent work by the Tax Justice Network and UK Uncut has exposed the rampant culture of corporate tax evasion in the UK, with legal proceedings against Goldman Sachs and HMRC, exposing the millions (and in some cases such as Vodafone, billions) of pounds in unpaid corporate taxes to the full glare of public scrutiny.
It is the ordinary working citizen who must make up this deficit, and suffer the increasing pain of austerity and higher taxes to offset the champagne lifestyles of the globetrotting, tax-dodging elite.
With Governments ability to crack down on tax evasion severely compromised by financial sector lobbying, and party donations from the major banks we need to take personal action by moving our money out the big banks who are profiting by swindling ordinary taxpayers.
The simple but powerful act of moving your money to an ethical, local or mutual financial is one way we can all help create a fairer and more just financial system.