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Molly Scott Cato on tax avoidance

molly4In a letter to the Financial Times, Molly – pointing out that tax avoidance is an issue on which UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell, The Sun and the FT all agree – says:

“If political will were easily translated into policy the days of corporate tax avoidance would be numbered”.

As Green Party Finance Speaker and Member of the European Parliament TAXE committee she adds. “Sadly, my work on the European parliament’s special tax committee suggests otherwise”.

She sees clear proposals agreed from the European Commission and parliament being blocked by member states who – rather than co-operate on the issue of tax – are determined to race to the bottom at the behest of corporations, the commercial interests noted by economist Martin Wolf as playing a powerful role in shaping those laws.

Molly concluded: “EU finance ministers are thus not only starving the public coffers but also flouting the democratic will”.

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The FT notes that “the (OECD) proposals to improve transparency, close loopholes and restrict the use of tax havens are the culmination of an international project launched by G20 governments in response to surging public anger over corporate tax avoidance”.

In Tax Haven UK, Issue 1410, however, Private Eye notes that Chancellor George Osborne, who has often claimed to be at the forefront of global efforts to stop tax abuse by multinationals, has yet to implement the changes proposed for this purpose.

Tax Haven UK ends: “A ‘consultation’ on the big tax break exploited by the companies (listed) trundles on and Britain looks set to remain the tax haven of choice for multinationals for a while yet”.

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