End Tax Haven Secrecy is a brand new campaign that launched this week. It’s an alliance that includes Christian Aid, Oxfam, ActionAid, and The Tax Justic Network, and the campaign is geared up to get action on tax havens on the agenda at the G20 gathering in Cannes in November. French president Nicolas Sarkozy will be among the politicians targetted, as he will have a crucial role in hosting the summit.
Tax havens remain a huge drain on the global economy, a place for wealthy elites and global corporations to avoid paying their share. They rob developing countries of around $160 billion in unpaid taxes every year, which is more than they receive in aid.
It costs the British economy too, to the tune of £11.5 billion a year by one estimate (pdf). That’s a little crazy when you consider that many of the tax havens are UK protectorates, and the City of London is one of the most secretive financial centres in the world. At a time when ordinary people are losing local services to reduce the deficit, that’s an extraordinary thing to tolerate.
“We hope many thousands of campaigners will demand an end to the huge suffering which tax haven secrecy currently causes, especially in developing countries,” said Dr David McNair, Senior Economic Justice Adviser at Christian Aid. “G20 countries between them have the power to force tax havens to stop keeping the secrets of people and companies who dodge tax, pay or receive bribes and launder money.”
Visit Endtaxhavensecrecy.org now to send a letter to your head of state.