Thursday, January 03, 2013

G8 June: will they clamp down on tax havens?

Britain has the chairmanship of the G8 group of wealthy counties (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, USA, UK, Canada, Russia), and Cameron is excited at the prospect of being centre stage at the G8 summit at Lough Erne in June.

The G8 is in decline (Brazil, India and China are not members, though they are big enough to be, and Russia did not bother to show up at the last one) but it still matters, because one of the items on the agenda has the potential to go a long way to solving the world's economic problems - tax evasion.

I was writing to the Treasury in 2011 about closing tax havens in order to prevent money leaching out of national economies into private pockets. Now Cameron is actually taking it up.

Unfortunately he is muddying  the waters with a proposal for better free trade between the EU and the USA. This is a matter that is of no direct relevance to the G8, and there is not a lot of enthusiasm about it either in the USA or in the EU, where Cameron's name is spelled M-U-D due to the Tories' Europhobia.

Still, we have an opportunity to put pressure on Cameron over tax evasions, given that the global economy loses between $190 and $255 billion a year, and that UK is world leader in tax havens, with its dependencies providing a quarter of global tax havens.

So we can expect Cameron to try to make sure that nothing is really done to end the haemorrhage of wealth out of national economies and into private accounts. It is therefore our job (and that of the mainstream media, if only they were up to it) to kick up a fuss to make sure that the G8 does a real number on the tax havens in Northern Ireland in June.

See also:
The Coalition backs tax evasion

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