Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tax havens: Is the tide turning?

The BBC website has an article with the above headline, containing a useful overview of political progress:
Around the world, grassroots opposition to tax avoidance is on the rise. But a survey shows that all but two of the UK's biggest 100 companies have subsidiaries in tax havens, from the Cayman Islands to Singapore. So is big business out of step with public opinion?

Occupy Wall Street protesters demand corporations "pay their fair share" of tax. U2 comes under fire from protesters at the Glastonbury festival who accuse the band of taking advantage of low tax rates in the Netherlands. A global day of action against tax secrecy is marked in dozens of countries from Ghana to Brazil.

Protesters stage sit-ins in shops and banks around the UK in the hope of getting tax avoidance by massive corporations on to the political agenda
. . .
In recent months, a loose coalition on "tax fairness" has emerged, uniting angry taxpayers, business ethics pressure groups and development NGOs. The focus is now on tax avoidance - legal arrangements to pay less tax, sometimes using complicated financial structures - rather than just illegal tax evasion."
The BBC turns to ActionAid's new report about tax havens, providing this useful picture, above.

To be honest, we've had a few of these 'is the tide turning on tax havens?' articles recently. The BBC, with some exceptions, has been pretty slow on the uptake in our opinion. Yet it does seem as if the zeitgeist really is shifting.


Anonymous Andy Hancock said...

Here's a link to the BBC article:


4:04 pm  

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