The Case For A Tax Dodging Bill In The Next Parliament
In the run up to the general election it seems that there are three directions the loudest political parties want us to look - Europe, Scotland and Australia - and perhaps we should be listening.
No, not who is able to match the regimented style of the kangaroo or who will or won't be controlled by the Scottish puppet master (there's potential in that Marvel) and who can get us a fair deal on Europe, but instead let's look at the words of Jamie Livingstone, Senator Bill Heffernam and who can get a fair deal for everyone.
Jamie Livingstone, as head of the Scottish Oxfam, recently wrote that "legislation is needed to make multinationals pay their fair share if we are to help more people out of poverty," and that "every party should be judged on their commitment to taking practical measures to tackle this crucial issue rather than on the strength, or passion, of their pre-election speeches."
Being all in it together means exactly that, it does not mean that you dodge, duck and dive away from your responsibility to play your part. Allowing a labyrinth of loopholes to exist while turning everyday Brits on each other with dangerous rhetoric doesn't sound like progress to me. Around 13 million people, including 3.7 million children, live below the poverty line in the UK: No, definitely not.
In Australia Senator Bill Heffernan tells us "it will take a coalition of Western countries to begin to stamp out the problem," while "some tax law is like a telegram, it's out of date. The law has been outsmarted by technology."
Yet politicians of all our parties are still playing catch up with public opinion with one poll showing only 20% of the public think that the promises made to tackle tax avoidance are sufficient to address the issue.
The UK can only be a credible voice at a global level if it no longer accepts tax havens at home. By introducing a proper Tax Dodging Bill, the UK can set the bar higher for global reform and by doing so we can generate billions to help those in poverty at home and abroad.
It's simply what is fairest for everyone.
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