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SNP gives welcome backing to climate and tax justice, says Christian Aid

20 April 2015 - The Scottish National Party’s election manifesto, published today, gives welcome backing to the poor in developing countries with its call for action on climate change and support for tax justice, says Christian Aid.

Christine Allen, Christian Aid’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs, said: “Today’s manifesto shows that the SNP supports not only the UK’s commitments to the world’s poorest through high-quality aid investment, but also tax justice, debt relief and climate action.

 “This is a holistic commitment to improvements for the poorest in our world.

““Scotland’s Climate Justice Fund has made a real difference to the ability of communities in a number of developing countries to adapt to changing climate patterns.

“Of course, the UK’s credibility on the international stage relies on getting our own house in order, so the SNP need to show they are on track to meet their carbon targets and show the UK all the benefits of a renewable-drive, low-carbon economy.”

Noting the SNP’s policies on tax avoidance, Ms Allen added: “There is an urgent need for new laws to stop tax dodging, so the SNP is right to call for early legislation and to single out stronger anti-avoidance penalties and reviewing loopholes.

“Developing countries lose three times as much from tax dodging as they receive in aid, so the UK should be championing a global Fair Tax Summit to speed up reforms of the tax system that penalise developing countries. We are delighted that the SNP have shown their support for the summit – the only UK party to have done so to date.

“We hope that the SNP’s support for action on tax will also include support for companies publicly reporting their tax payments for every country in which they operate.

“There are thousands of tax breaks on the Treasury’s books, some going back decades, so closing the occasional tax loophole is a finger in the dam. The SNP’s demand for a rolling review of tax reliefs would improve the Treasury’s behind-closed-doors way of making tax policy by increasing transparency and proving that tax rules are not being abused.”

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