3 December 2014 - Responding to the UK Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Laura Taylor, Head of Advocacy at Christian Aid, said: “It’s good to see George Osborne acting on the huge public demand for big companies to pay their fair share of tax, with the new Diverted Profits Tax. But it’s not just the UK that needs tax fairness – developing countries need it too.
"The government should use its power to make UK multinationals pay their taxes in developing countries. The vast majority of the British public want this, according to a ComRes poll for Christian Aid and ActionAid.
“The Government is putting £5 million towards strengthening poor countries’ tax systems but this will achieve little unless international tax rules are tightened and loopholes closed. Otherwise, multinationals will keep running rings around tax officials everywhere.
“Mr Osborne mentioned in passing one of the most important tax reforms he could make: country-by-country reporting for multinationals. It’s a reform that would shed more light on companies’ finances and make tax dodging harder to get away with, in the UK and internationally. However, to be really effective, the information must be publicly available – not confined to tax authorities. We hope he will have much more to say about this in the near future.”
On the government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on overseas aid, she added: “The Chancellor has honoured his promise to give 0.7 per cent of national income for life-saving development aid. Now he should make sure MPs turn up on Friday to support the 0.7 Bill that will establish this promise in law - a lasting legacy of which the Government can be proud.”
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 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 the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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