[ON TAXES AND CORPORATE TAX AVOIDANCE]
“The hypocrisy revealed by the Corporate Tax Haven Index is sickening.
A handful of the richest countries have waged a world tax war so corrosive, they’ve broken down the global corporate tax system beyond repair.
The UK, Netherlands, Switzerland and Luxembourg – the Axis of Avoidance – line their own pockets at the expense of a crucial funding stream for sustainable human progress.
The ability of governments across the world to tax multinational corporations in order to pay teachers’ wages, build hospitals and ensure a level playing field for local businesses has been deliberately and ruthlessly undermined.”
“When our laws for taxing global corporations stop working, the global economy stops working for the vast majority of us.
All around us we see inequalities go unaddressed, political extremism unchallenged and democratic institutions faltering – and the thread that runs through it all is a failure to defend progressive taxation.
To curtail the corporate tax avoidance that costs hundreds of billions of dollars every year, governments must finally deliver international rules that ensure profits are declared, and tax paid, in the places where real economic activity takes place.
Corporations should be taxed where their employees work, not where their ledgers hide.”
“By giving false identities, company owners in the UK can engage in the industrial processing of dirty money with no fear of getting caught.
Even when the UK’s company registration system was revealed as instrumental to the world’s biggest known money-laundering scheme, the Danske Bank scandal, the government turned a blind eye.
A new and terrifying book by the Financial Times journalist Tom Burgis, Kleptopia, follows a global current of dirty money, and the murders and kidnappings required to sustain it.
Again and again, he found, this money, though it might originate in Russia, Africa or the Middle East, travels through London.
The murders and kidnappings don’t happen here, of course: our bankers have clean cuffs and manicured nails.
The National Crime Agency estimates that money laundering costs the UK £100bn a year.”
“But it makes much more.
With the money come people fleeing the consequences of their crimes, welcomed into this country through the government’s ‘golden visa’ scheme: a red carpet laid out for the very rich.
None of this features in the official definitions of corruption.
Corruption is what little people do.
But kleptocrats in other countries are merely clients of the bigger thieves in London.
Processing everyone else’s corruption is the basis of much of the wealth of this country.
When you start to understand this, the contention by the author of Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano, that the UK is the most corrupt nation on Earth, begins to make sense.
These activities are a perpetuation of colonial looting: a means by which vast riches are siphoned out of poorer countries and into the hands of the super-rich.
The UK’s great and unequal wealth was built on colonial robbery: the land and labour stolen in Ireland, America and Africa, the humans stolen by slavery, the $45tn bled from India.”