Tax havens and big business: What’s happened to the Chancellor’s Review?
If you haven’t already, take a look at The Guardian’s excellent piece on corporate tax avoidance today. It’s the first of a number of articles revealing the complexity and extent of big business tax scams. Lots of references to the TUC’s own work I’m glad to say. There is also a Panorama report on the BBC tonight on tax haven abuse. As I’ve written elsewhere, the momentum for change in this area grows daily.
The Guardian mentions the tax haven review established by the Chancellor last year as part of the growing pressure. But at the moment that review is pretty invisible. A peek at the details of the review on the Treasury website suggests “interim conclusions” before the Budget (which will now probably be in early to mid April) but there has as yet been no call for evidence and I am not aware of any other progress. The review chair, Michael Foot, may well have been talking to people in the tax industry and to the tax havens themselves but I know of no civil society group that has been consulted. The Chancellor is apparently dead serious about addressing the problems posed by tax havens linked to the UK but there will be widespread annoyance if an interim report is indeed published without any consultation with the wider groups and individuals affected by tax haven activity.
The TUC is currently researching and writing a report on how tax havens operate and suggesting proposals to stop the abuse. It would make a good submission to the review but we will publish it whether Michael Foot wants to read it or not.