The G8 must take action on tax dodging and tax havens!

Keith McManus

Blog post by Keith McManus

Oxfam Ireland, Digital Communications Manager
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Shocking new statistics released by Oxfam this week have shown that governments are letting people hide at least $18.5 trillion in offshore tax havens. Yes, you read that right: not $18.5 million, or even $18.5 billion, but $18.5 trillion!

If you think this is an outrage, share these graphics (below) with your friends online; or send them to your goverment's leader so they hear your voice.

By holding their money in offshore tax havens like San Marino and Monaco, the owners of these riches pay little or no tax – while hard working people in the world's poorest countries strive to make a living and nearly 1 in 8 go to bed hungry.

Why should the richest get away with dodging tax?

If these companies and individuals paid their dues, it would total more than $150 billion – money which could be spent on schools, hospitals and libraries. As austerity bites and budgets are slashed, ordinary people across the world are losing out on billions of unpaid tax.

And these figures are just the tip of the iceberg: tax evasion by big corporations prevents hundreds of billions of dollars being paid every year. The vast majority of ordinary people pay their taxes every year, so why should the world’s richest individuals and corporations get away with dodging tax?

What we demand from the G8

Now is the time to take a stand. This year's G8 takes place in June in Northern Ireland, and David Cameron has committed his G8 Presidency towards ‘getting our own house in order and helping developing countries to prosper.’ Today European leaders are meeting ahead of the G8 to get tough on tax.

But unless European and G8 countries follow their fine words with action, this could be a lot of hot air – or result in a deal that shuts out developing countries.

Oxfam is calling for G8 leaders to;

  1. Get their own tax havens to join a global deal to share tax information, so that all countries – especially the poorest – can tax companies and individuals fairly
  2. Commit to making ownership of companies and other assets public, so that nobody can avoid paying tax by hiding their money or setting up phantom firms.
  3. Agree a black list of tax havens and agree to get tough with them when they won’t play ball

Spread the word

Please share this graphics on social media to spread the word and ensure that G8 and EU leaders play their part in ending tax dodging and closing tax havens – today in Brussels, and at this year's G8 Summit on June 17th and 18th.

Tell them that you won’t stand for the unjust tax dodging practices of the global elite.

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Read more

Press release: Tax on the “private” billions now stashed away in havens enough to end extreme world poverty twice over