2 September 2016 - MPs are suggesting a simple way in which the UK could help end global secrecy around the finances of multinationals such as Apple, Christian Aid said today.
“The Apple case shows the importance of shedding light on what multinationals are really up to around the world and the MPs’ proposal would be a massive step towards that,” said Toby Quantrill, Christian Aid’s Principal Advisor on Economic Justice.
“Apple is far from the only company using tax havens to slash tax bills in the UK and in many of the poorest countries around the world. But until we can see far more about firms’ global activities, we can’t know which are the worst offenders,” he added.
Well over 50 MPs from all the UK’s major political parties have proposed an amendment to the Finance Bill (which implements the Budget). The amendment would simply give the government the power to make public the country-by-country reports that companies are privately submitting to UK tax authorities.
Mr Quantrill added: “We urge the Government to accept this simple, cross-party amendment to its Finance Bill. The principle of publishing companies’ key financial indicators such as taxes paid in each country where they work is agreed by all major UK political parties. This amendment would give the government the power to implement this simple but powerful reform when it chooses to do so.
“Furthermore, the move would be popular with the UK public and benefit developing countries – where people would finally be able to see what taxes are being paid by big companies in their countries. Developing countries currently lose terrifying sums to multinational tax dodgers – money that is badly needed for education, health and policing.
“Investors would also benefit from public country-by-country reports, because they would be able to see any potential risks linked to a company’s tax strategy.
“There can be no more excuses for multinationals hiding what they are really up to. All the evidence shows that when they can hide, they do things they wouldn’t want us to know about.”
For more information contact Rachel Baird on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07850 242950.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk