12 September 2016 - Government proposals to make company bosses responsible for fraud and tax evasion by their staff are welcome and should cover crimes committed in other countries as well as in the UK, Christian Aid said today.
Any new law must also be backed by adequate resourcing of the UK government authorities supposed to enforce it, the charity added.
“These proposals are a welcome recognition of the responsibility that comes with the vast power now held by people who run large companies,” said Eric Gutierrez, Christian Aid’s anti-corruption expert.
“That personal responsibility does not end at the UK’s borders and any new law should reflect this.
“Fraud and tax evasion committed abroad by UK-linked companies must be caught by these reforms, just as the Bribery Act 2010 already makes UK-linked firms responsible for bribery by their staff in other countries.
“A globalised economy requires globalised responsibilities.
“Developing countries are especially vulnerable to the impacts of fraud, corruption and tax evasion and it is the poorest people who suffer worst of all.
“It is important that UK companies are not allowed to undermine the UK’s aid programme by facilitating or committing financial crimes in poor countries.”
Mr Gutierrez added: “If these welcome new proposals are to make much difference, then the government must also ensure that those expected to enforce the new law have enough staff and other resources to do so.”
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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.
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk