June 17 2015 -Nearly a quarter of the world’s major tax havens on a “blacklist” published today by the European Commission are either British Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies.
The 30-strong list has been criticised for failing to include EU member state Luxembourg which in recent months has been involved in a series of controversies over “sweet heart” tax deals for multinationals.
It does, however, include seven UK–linked havens - Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos islands.
Christian Aid’s Senior Economic Justice Adviser Joseph Stead said today: “While there are concerns about omissions from the list, despite the UK’s regular insistence that it leads the global fight against tax dodging and corruption, it is notable that over 20 per cent of the tax havens on it are ultimately controlled by the UK.
“We have called consistently for the UK government to curb their activities but despite occasional good words there is very little action. It remains to be seen, of course, whether being black-listed by the European Commission will amount to anything either.”
Mr Stead was also sceptical regarding the EC’s announcement that it would launch a public consultation on Country by Country reporting for multinationals.
This would require businesses to report the profits made and taxes paid in every jurisdiction where they operate. At present, it is impossible to see the national level impact of multinationals from their public reporting. As a result, it is difficult to revenue authorities to determine whether correct amounts of tax have been paid, and for investors and citizens to understand the way multinationals are operating.
“It’s getting silly now, we don’t need more consultations,” said Mr Stead. “We know that public country by country reporting is necessary and inevitable, and the democratically elected European Parliament has repeatedly called for it, so it’s time for the EU to stop pussyfooting around and get on with it”.
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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.
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