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What's tax dodging got to do with the EU?

28 April 2014 | by Jenny Brown 

I never thought I’d get excited about tax, until I realised that if people in the UK hadn’t paid their taxes, there probably wouldn’t have been schools, I wouldn’t have received an education and I wouldn’t have got my job with Christian Aid.

So what chance of going to school, and getting a job, do children in poor countries have?

Tax dodging by some unscrupulous corporations is depriving poor countries of an estimated US$160 billion every year.

We have been working for six years to get the EU to do something about this.

Tax matters

It took time to persuade Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that tax matters, but once they heard the message from their constituents, they started to act.

Recently, they’ve made great strides and voted for EU countries to set up public registers listing the real owners of all companies, meaning we can…

  1. uncover who is dodging tax
  2. reveal who is behind corrupt deals
  3. hold them to account and ensure both rich and developing countries get the money that’s rightfully theirs.

This will make it harder for tax dodgers to hide money and dodge tax, but it’s only one step towards ending this practice once and for all.

MEPs must now push for even more financial transparency, and ensure that EU governments play their part.

What can you do?

On 22 May the UK will elect 73 new MEPs from across the country.

It’s really important that the MEPs elected take tax justice seriously and are willing to do something about it.

Please contact candidates, go to hustings, and explain why, if they’re elected, they should do all they can to make sure the EU clamps down on tax dodging by European companies in developing countries.

Find out more from this briefing and see a list of all candidates


EU flag This campaign has been part-funded by the EU. The contents of this web page are the sole responsibility of Christian Aid and other member organisations of the STOP tax dodging campaign and do not reflect the views of the EU.

  About the author

 Jenny Brown

Jenny Brown is Christian Aid's Senior EU Relations Adviser.

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