• Loading

'Tax Taliban'? Do they mean us?

By Alasdair Roxburgh | 20 January 2011

As all of you Cayman Island News subscribers will have seen (anyone? No?), last week the chair of Cayman Finance, Anthony Travers, likened Christian Aid and its fellow tax justice campaigners to a ‘Tax Taliban’.

The article, benignly titled ‘Tax justice campaigners plan busy year’, also saw us described as ‘socialists’ and ‘disturbed individuals’ because of the work we’re doing to end tax secrecy.

We had to laugh. But we also have to set the record straight.

The News’ suggestion that we are accusing our FTSE Four companies, Vodafone, Unilever, TUI Travel and IHG, of tax avoidance is way off the mark. We are asking for their support in the hope that together we will find a solution.

In fact, Travers describes our approach as ‘delusional’, despite the fact we’ve been working closely with the business community to try to solve the issue of tax dodging in developing countries.

Beach

Palm trees on a beach. Because pictures of office blocks don't say tax haven quite so well. Pic: Panther/WikiCommons

And what’s more, we’re finding that many companies have been more than happy to engage with us.

More recently we’ve also have had talks with Jersey Finance and made a well-received presentation to the International Financial Centres Forum.

I would suggest Cayman Finance is a little out of touch, not only with the work we and others are doing on tax, but also with the fact that financial secrecy and tax dodging is no longer acceptable.

Perhaps it would be more beneficial for the world’s poor is if they were to join their peers in talking to us.

Take action!

Act now! Email our FTSE Four companies - Vodafone, Unilever, TUI Travel and hotel group IHG - and ask them to help trace the tax!

 About the author

Alasdair Roxburgh

Alasdair Roxburgh is our churches campaigns manager