This month the G8 will be discussing international action against tax avoidance. While this is hugely important, it is not an excuse for inaction at home, where HMRC estimates a ‘tax gap’ of at least £32bn exists.
At a time of squeezed incomes and public spending cuts, it’s simply unfair a group of global corporations and wealthy individuals are avoiding paying their fair share. This is not an anti-business agenda; it is a crusade for fairness to show that we are truly ‘all in this together’.
That is why Progress is launching our Tackle Tax Avoidance Charter.
The Progress Tackle Tax Avoidance Charter
EXPOSE THE TAX AVOIDERS …
1.‘Name and shame’ companies and individuals engaged in tax avoidance. This would both have a
powerful deterrent effect and help to change the culture among those people who see tax avoidance as legitimate and desirable rather than the abrogation of civic duty that it really is.
2. Open up the tax affairs of large quoted companies, starting with the FTSE 100. We should require
companies to be much more transparent about their businesses and profits in the accounts they file with Companies House.
HMRC HAS GOT TO GET A GRIP …
3. Challenge the tax arrangements of multinational companies to ensure that they are a true and fair
reflection of their economic activity in this country.
4. Get tough on tax avoiders by mounting more prosecutions.
5. Ensure HMRC has the right staff with the right skills. There needs to be the expertise within HMRC to keep up with those who devise and market tax-avoidance schemes
GOVERNMENT HAS GOT TO GET TOUGH …
6. Draw up a code of conduct to prevent conflicts of interest. Individuals working for large accountancy firms who advise government on tax law should not go on to create new ways of getting round it.
7. Deny public sector contracts to any company engaged in aggressive tax avoidance.
8. Beef up the Office of Tax Simplification which has just six civil servants working for it.
Now we need your help persuading George Osborne to immediately implement the charter:
1) Show your support publicly by signing the petition
2) Pressurise the chancellor by emailing or writing to him ahead of the G8, using this draft email
3) Show a united party supports Ed Miliband’s pledge that a Labour government will take action in the UK to tackle tax avoidance. Ask your CLP to pass a resolution backing our campaign.
Find out more:
Download the full campaign information pack here
Progressive centre-ground Labour politics does not come for free.
Our work depends on you.