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MPs are right to demand more transparency from mining, oil & gas firms

28 October 2014 - Responding to a new report about mining, oil and gas companies by the House of Commons’ Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, Toby Quantrill of Christian Aid said:

“We welcome the demand for greater public information about the ways in which UK mining, oil and gas companies affect people’s lives and the environment around the world, for better and for worse.

“As the Committee says, this will encourage companies to act more responsibly towards the millions of people affected by their operations.

“In this regard, Christian Aid believes that the Committee has missed a trick in not pushing for more information on companies’ tax payments, which would help to reveal whether companies are paying their fair share of tax in any particular country.

“Without this information, it will remain too easy for unscrupulous mining, oil and gas companies to continue to cheat the citizens of some of the world’s poorest countries, while profiting from their natural resources.”

As Christian Aid told the Committee when it gave oral evidence earlier this year, the vital reform to help put a stop to this is country-by-country reporting, which requires firms to report separate financial accounts for every country in which they operate.

Mr Quantrill added: “We are pleased to see MPs’ recognition that it may be necessary for the UK government take further action, if the reforms already in the pipeline fail to stop extractive companies’ tax abuse.”

Christian Aid’s written evidence to the Committee is here.

For more information 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 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


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