• Tax Havens

    Tax havens are estimated to cost poor countries at least $170 billion in lost tax revenues every year. They damage our own economy and economies across the world, and need to be addressed.

    I believe there needs to be reform based on the principle of complete openness and transparency. Multinational companies should make public how much they pay in tax on a country by country basis, so that a proper rate of tax can be applied. Many multinational companies make a significant contribution to research and development and through the employment they provide, but we expect all companies to meet fair tax responsibilities.

    I am concerned about the rate of progress on the transparency of companies based in the UK’s crown dependencies and overseas territories, and there is much room for improvement. I support calls for the crown dependencies and overseas territories to attend the anti-corruption summit in May.

    However, after the Prime Minister’s initial failure to provide clarity regarding his link with Blairmore Holdings and the news he had benefitted from his father’s offshore investments, this demonstrates the Tories failure to keep their commitments on tax havens.  The recent revelations in the ‘Panama Papers’ have shown that the Government’s approach to closing tax havens in British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies has not delivered the returns the Government promised. We need a full independent enquiry into the revelations that have come from the Panama papers including the use of offshore tax havens by members of the Government.

    The UK should be at the heart of efforts to achieve international progress on tax transparency and accountability and I will follow this issue closely as the anti-corruption summit approaches.