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Whistle blowers across Europe demand end to multinationals’ tax secrecy

5 November 2015 - Whistle blowing activists gathered outside the UK Treasury and in other European capitals today, to support the whistle-blowers who exposed the LuxLeaks tax scandal a year ago and to demand an end to secrecy around multinationals’ taxes.

“People were outraged when it emerged that hundreds of multinationals had got secret deals from Luxembourg, which slashed their tax bills across the world,” said Joseph Stead, Christian Aid’s Senior Economic Justice Adviser, who was at the Treasury stunt in London.

“But one year later, very little has changed. The public still don’t know what taxes multinationals pay in each country, or what cosy tax deals they have done with European governments, including the UK’s.

“Despite the outrage around LuxLeaks, we remain reliant on whistle-blowers – people prepared to go to prison – to reveal information which should already be in the public domain.”

Mr. Stead added: “Following LuxLeaks, governments themselves are going to get more information about multinationals’ taxes - but none of it will be made public.

“Given that the problem exposed by LuxLeaks was a Government making secret deals with multinationals, simply giving governments more data is not a solution. In fact, it is scandalous to pretend such a measure amounts to transparency. It is crucial the information is made public.

“Multinationals should be required to reveal information such as the taxes they pay, the profits they make and the number of people they employ separately for each country in which they work. This, in turn, would help to expose suspicious tax practices.”

Financial secrecy across Europe is detailed this week in a new report, Fifty Shades of Tax Dodging. It compares 14 countries and gives the UK a mixture of red and yellow ratings.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Rachel Baird on 00 44 (0)207 523 2446 or rbaird@christian-aid.org 24 hour press duty phone – 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 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


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