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UK tax deal with Switzerland is a step backwards

By David McNair | 3 November 2010

We all know that the financial secrecy provided by tax havens helps tax dodgers to squirrel money away from the tax man and that developing countries suffer as a result.

In 2009 the G20 made a big deal of cracking down on tax havens and making sure developing countries would benefit.

But a deal which the UK Treasury is considering with the Swiss could undermine efforts to challenge financial secrecy and crack down on tax dodging that costs the poor so dearly.

Ripped Off Britain tax cartoon This week I wrote a piece for the Guardian, arguing that the UK should work globally to root out financial secrecy rather than simply giving in to Swiss banking secrecy in exchange of a relatively small amount of money.

This then prompted a satirical cartoon in the Guardian's comic strip, Ripped-off Britons.

Guardian  UK-Swiss deal undermines global efforts to tackle tax avoidance

Cartoon  Tax-free banking in Switzerland

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 About the author

David McNair

David McNair is our senior economic justice adviser