AN EVESHAM minister has expressed his anger at the the lack of action by the government to tackle tax dodging, stating its practise distorts the global economy.
Rev David Haslam was the co-ordinator of a delegation which has just submitted a petition to the Chancellor signed by more than 600 people, including local Methodists.
The petition asked George Osborne to implement more effective changes to tackle tax dodging. The delegation, led by former Methodist President of Conference Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, included London ministers Rev Cathy Bird and Rev David Hardman.
Amongst the changes called for by the petition are: the introduction of a public register of the beneficial owners of companies in the UK’s overseas territories and crown dependencies, to increase transparency in these UK-controlled tax havens; supporting the introduction of fully public country-by-country reporting of financial information in the European Union and worldwide; and backing the creation of a UN-led body to regulate global tax legislation.
David Cameron was at the forefront of efforts to encourage the G8 and G20 to do more to combat tax dodging in 2013, and his government have since implemented a public register of beneficial owners within the UK itself.
However, reductions to the UK corporation tax rate and cuts to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs do not resonate with the government’s election promise of recouping £5m per year through tackling corporate tax avoidance.
Earlier plans to introduce a voluntary code of conduct on tax for multinational corporations were not mentioned in the Chancellor’s autumn statement.
“Tax justice is a crucial factor in rebalancing a distorted global economy,” Rev Haslam said.
“If large companies and wealthy individuals paid the taxes they should we would not need such large foodbanks in our communities, as people could receive sufficient to feed themselves.
“The Government prosecutes benefit cheats for small sums, but tax cheats get away with much bigger ones,” he added.