Martin Hearson, Policy Adviser at ActionAid, has an important letter
in the Financial Times complementing our recent blogging
on the issue. We reproduce it here, in full:
Tax deal lets down developing world
Published: October 28 2010
From Mr Martin Hearson.
Sir, The tax deal between the UK and Switzerland (report, October 26) may generate some revenue for the UK, but it is also good news for corrupt politicians and tax dodgers across the developing world.
By leaving banking secrecy intact, HM Revenue & Customs has scored an own goal in the global effort to clamp down on tax evasion, slamming the door shut in the face of developing countries. Without the economic and political influence to establish similar arrangements, developing countries have been reliant on the fringe benefits of the Group of 20’s tough approach to tax havens, in particular a crackdown on the principle of secrecy.
The corollary of this week’s agreement must therefore be UK advocacy at the G20 in Seoul next month for a global tax information exchange deal that meets the needs of developing countries.