Five reasons why we need a Tax Dodging Bill
Guest blog from Ema Jackson, Campaigns Assistant at ActionAid UK.
In just the few weeks since the campaign launched, an amazing 50,000 people have joined the call for all UK political parties to commit to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days after the general election.
The campaign is being led by a broad and diverse coalition of over 20 organisations; from international charities such as ActionAid and Oxfam, to UK groups including National Union of Students, the Equality Trust and Ethical Consumer.
We’ve has also had faith leaders, academics and some companies coming out in support, but what is the Tax Dodging Bill and why do we need it?
The Tax Dodging Bill is a proposal for a law to tackle the worst forms of corporate tax avoidance by making it harder for big companies to dodge taxes in the UK and in some of the poorest countries in the world.
So, why do we need one?
1) Companies are avoiding A LOT of tax.
Every year the UK loses billions of pounds to tax dodging. And in poorer countries the situation is even worse – with more being lost to corporate tax dodging than is received in all overseas aid from rich countries.
2) We need to tackle poverty- here and in poorer countries.
13 million people live in poverty in the UK. Globally 1 billion children live in poverty. More tax revenue - here and in developing countries - could fund public services and help lift these people out of poverty.
3) People are really angry about tax dodging.
A recent survey showed that 85% of the British public think big companies dodging their taxes is immoral, even if it is legal. We need to turn that anger into action, and make sure our tax rules do what people expect of them.
4) A Tax Dodging Bill could bring in lots of extra cash.
We have estimated that the Tax Dodging Bill could bring in as much as £3.6 billion for the UK and potentially a further £3 billion in developing countries. Not once, but every year. Just think about how far that could go to fight poverty.
5) Small businesses deserve a level playing field.
Tax dodging by big multi-national companies makes it even harder for small businesses to compete. Just think of your local independent bookstore – is it fair that they have to compete with big companies, like Amazon, who have the resources to shift their profits into tax havens to avoid the UK tax man?
So there you have it – five key reasons why we need a Tax Dodging Bill.
If you agree, and think it’s time we had a law to make tax fair, join the movement >