Friday, May 21, 2010

Christian Aid Tax Superhero Award

Christian Aid’s Tax Superhero Award for 2010 goes to Eva Joly, a French MEP and life-long campaigner against corruption.

Joly has led calls in the EU for greater tax transparency and helped persuade EU policymakers that tax justice is intrinsic to fighting poverty. For this we salute her.

Christian Aid estimates that poor countries lose around $160 billion each year through tax dodging by unscrupulous companies trading internationally. Tackling this problem could save the lives of 350,000 children a year – a challenge of superhero proportions.

Watch our Tax Superhero Award ceremony outside the Royal Exchange in the City of London on 20 May - the same day as the accountancy profession’s own taxation awards take place in the Park Lane Hilton.

Other nominees

Ricky Gervais, British comedian and film-maker who is quoted as saying, 'There's something unsavoury about tax exiles. I love paying tax. It helps justify how much I earn.'

Graham Norton, Irish comedian and television presenter who is quoted as saying: 'I pay a lot of tax. By most people's standards I am rich so I should pay my tax because I can afford it.'

Katie Melua, a Georgian-British singer who has said: 'I pay nearly half of what comes to me in taxes, but I know I’m paying to live in a country with lots of amazing qualities. I have seen what it is like living in a country where people don’t pay tax and have poor services in terms of health and education.'

John Christensen, auditor, economist and co-founder of the Tax Justice Network. He has worked in several of the world’s poorer countries and was also employed as an offshore trust officer and economic advisor in Jersey, Channel Islands (a tax haven).

Denis Robert, an investigative reporter who co-wrote a book about Clearstream Banking which accused it of being an international platform for money laundering and tax evasion.

Phil Hodkinson, a trustee of Christian Aid and non-executive director of HM Revenue & Customs, BT Group plc, Travelex Holdings Ltd and Resolution Ltd.

Rhidian Brook, a Welsh novelist, broadcaster, and regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day. He gave a personal reflection on the ethics of paying taxes on a recent Thought for the Day.

The Press release also highlights further nominees

- TJN's senior Adviser Richard Murphy,

- The singer Billy Bragg

- The organisation Blood:Water Mission, which works on HIV/AIDS and water.

(TJN might also have considered the author J.K. Rowling for this year's award.)

Take action

Why not join the ranks of our tax superheroes? Email the Big Four accountancy companies and ask them to back a new accountancy standard which would help prevent tax dodging.


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