Every year the UK loses billions of pounds to corporate tax dodging, while developing countries lose an estimated $160 billion.
And the incredible thing about this is that much of this is legal. Big corporations are taking advantage of an unfair system that allows them to dodge paying their fair share, benefitting themselves at the expense of the rest of society, including more responsible businesses.
Tax rules are currently rigged in favour of the biggest and most powerful companies, because those companies have been allowed too much access and influence.
At the same time around 13 million people, including 3.7 million children, live in poverty in the UK. Globally, 1 billion children live in poverty and in poorer countries 57 million children are still out of primary school. While so many governments’ budgets are already stretched, cracking down on corporate tax dodging is crucial to ensure there is money available to right these wrongs.
Politicians can change the UK’s tax rules to make sure that companies here pay their fair share of tax when they do business here. Not only that, the UK’s tax rules can also help ensure UK companies pay their fair share of tax wherever else they operate – which includes some of the world’s poorest countries.
We are calling on all political parties to pledge to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days after the election, which would help tackle poverty in developing countries and to use the funds raised here to tackle poverty in our society.
The potential benefits are huge. We estimate that the Tax Dodging Bill could generate at least £3.6 billion more a year in tax to fight poverty in the UK, and billions for developing countries. These reforms will also create a level playing field which is a benefit for responsible companies that do pay their fair share.
We’re calling for a law that will:
We are also calling for political parties to commit to using the funds raised in the UK to tackle poverty here.