The UK government has finally pledged to expose how much money is lost through overseas tax evasion.
A huge £570bn is thought to be held by UK residents in tax havens, according to media reports.
HMRC faced criticism earlier this year after admitting they’d not attempted to estimate the extent of tax evasion by UK residents overseas.
The publication of the tax evasion figure – scheduled for next year – will be a big step in the right direction.
Once we know the extent of the revenue lost, we’ll have the ammunition to push for stricter rules and enforcement.
We need a fair tax system to support our public services, so that everyone benefits. Why should the super rich be allowed to stash their wealth abroad without paying their fair share?
We also need to make sure that HMRC is properly resourced to go after the money lost to tax havens.
The Conservative leadership contest descended into a tax-cutting circus this week.
Several MPs vying to become Prime Minister have pledged tens of billions of pounds of uncosted tax cuts if they win – in an unabashed attempt to appeal to the grassroots of the party.
Some want to reverse next year’s corporation tax rise, while others want to reduce income tax and VAT on fuel.
But are these MPs in tune with what Conservative voters want?
We’ve been polling Conservative voters since 2020 and we’ve found they often don’t back tax cuts, dislike tax avoidance and support wealth tax reforms and higher taxes on corporations.
Public services first
Our poll in 2020 found 45% of Conservative voters reject tax cuts if they result in cuts to public services. And just 28% support them.
While 46% of Conservative voters support paying more tax to fund public services – and just 28% are against this – the research found.
Another of our polls found that 74% of Conservative voters supported an increase in corporation tax. And just weeks ago, we reported that so-called Red Wall Conservatives were overwhelmingly in favour of a windfall tax on energy company profits.
When it comes to taxing wealth more, it’s a similar story. Our poll in 2020 found 66% of Conservative voters in favour of higher capital gains tax while our October 2021 poll found that 76% of Conservatives agreeing that the wealthy should pay more tax.
These figures should be a wake-up call for the Tory leadership hopefuls – they’re promising tax cuts the majority of their own voters don’t support.
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced his resignation today and vowed to use his last days in office to reverse the corporation tax rise planned for next year.
Speaking to the Times yesterday our acting Executive Director, Paul Hebden, argued that tax is about political choices. Businesses have already had a £25bn tax relief handout this year, without paying a penny more in corporation tax.
Meanwhile millions of households have been asked to contribute more income tax and national insurance to pay for the pandemic. During covid the wealthy saw their riches soar, yet that wealth remains undertaxed.
It’s unthinkable that a new Prime Minister would let big business and the wealthy off their contribution to our recovery, during a cost of living crisis driven by runaway profits.
Fair tax councils win
Away from the topsy turvy world of Westminster, we have some good news to tell you about.
Preston Council has just signed up to the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration. This follows the 14,500 messages you sent to councillors across the UK.
Preston voted unanimously to encourage fair tax practices amongst their supplier businesses. They are also calling for greater powers to exclude companies with links to tax havens when buying goods and services.
This is a huge win for our campaign. And other councils are following. Southwark Council in London is expected to pass a Fair Tax Declaration motion next week.
Regardless of what's happening at Westminster, it’s great to see the cause of tax justice winning at a local level.
Thank you if you’ve messaged your councillors – it’s making a real difference. You can still send them a message here if you haven’t already.
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