Tax dodging - who pays?
Tax is a key weapon in the fight against poverty. Taxes
paid by companies and individuals enable governments to
fund vital public services such as health care, education,
clean water and electricity, and to finance anti-poverty
programmes throughout the world. So when
multinational corporations and wealthy individuals fail to
pay the tax they owe, it's the poor who pick up the bill.
Companies see tax dodging as a legitimate part of their
business operations even though companies benefit directly
from education, infrastructure, healthcare etc that is
provided by the state. The cost of tax dodging is staggering!
Developing countries lose an estimated £250 billion every
year as a direct result of corporate tax dodging - money
which could be used to reach the UN's Millennium
Development Goals several times over.
And it's not just developing countries that lose out. Britain
also loses up to £120 billion a year through tax dodging and
uncollected tax. That's enough to double funding for the
entire NHS. Alternatively, the same sum could cover the full
state pension, eradicate student fees and enable Britain to
reach the UN international aid target of 0.7% of gross
national income overnight.
One popular way of dodging tax is to register companies tax
havens, that allow companies to get away with paying
minimal tax, if any. Tax havens thrive on 'secrecy' and
so place little or no reporting requirements on companies,
allowing them to keep secret the true sums they should be
paying in tax. This then denies vital revenue to the countries
in which those companies have made their profits.
War on Want believes it's time to put an end to this
corporate tax scandal. And justice, like charity, begins at
home. The UK is a major part of the global problem of
corporate tax dodging. We believe it should be part of the