Tax campaigners hand Prime Minister petition with 208,000 signatures in wake of Paradise Papers
Tax Justice UK, the country’s leading campaigning organisation dedicated to fighting for a fairer tax system, and 38 Degrees have handed in a petition calling on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to take the action needed to tackle tax avoidance in the wake of the release of the ‘Paradise Papers’. In under two weeks, the petition has attracted more than 208,000 signatures from UK taxpayers angered at the failure of the government to put an end to the abusive behaviour of multinational companies and wealthy individuals whose efforts to avoid tax have a direct impact on public services.
The petition calls for the UK government to take decisive action in the following areas, whether through Wednesday’s budget or through votes in Parliament:
- Commit to properly funding HMRC, to give our tax inspectors the tools to go after tax dodgers.
- Stop the practice of granting amnesties to those who hide their money tax offshore, as the government has done after previous leaks.
- Abolish ‘non-dom’ status.
- Tighten the regulation of accountants, lawyers and bankers.
- Introduce public registers of beneficial ownership for trusts as well as companies, and compel UK crown dependencies and overseas territories to do the same.
- Mandate public country-by-country reporting for all publicly quoted companies.
- Publicly review tax breaks for corporates and wealthy individuals.
Will Snell, Director of Tax Justice UK, said: “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor must act now to tackle tax avoidance. We know what needs to be done, and we have the power to make it happen. The next budget, due on Wednesday, should contain bold measures to stop these practices once and for all. Thousands of UK taxpayers, angry at the government’s failure to clamp down on a practice that deprives ordinary people of adequate public services, are calling on the government to take decisive action now in the public interest.”
Members of 38 Degrees also shared their views:
- "Funding is desperately needed for our public services, this means everyone should pay their taxes to the benefit of all." – Janis
- "How can it be right that those who have loads of money can legally avoid paying tax while people on low wages must pay up?" – Sue
- "It's time these loopholes were closed. Everyone should be paying the correct amount of tax. Dodging has become a game and just because it's legal does not make it right. It's time everyone was made to play by the same rules." - James