John McDonnell MP calls for strong legislation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance

John McDonnell said “This is a campaign I am supporting and I urge everyone to get behind it too. I have worked with the Tax Justice Campaign now for over a decade. We need action now. That means strong legislation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.”

Today, 27 January, sees the launch of The Tax Dodging Bill

The campaign, led by a broad coalition of UK and international organisations, has one simple goal. We are calling on all parties to commit to introducing a Tax Dodging Bill in the first 100 days of the next parliament to make tax fair and to raise funds, both in the UK and in developing countries, to fight poverty.

Parliament to make tax fair and to raise funds, both in the UK and in developing countries, to fight poverty.

As recent polling revealed, there is huge public anger among voters at the ongoing scandal of corporate tax avoidance:

  • More than four in five (85%) British adults say tax avoidance by large companies is morally wrong even if it’s legal
  • Four in five Britons (80%) agree that large companies in the UK can avoid tax too easily.
  • Just one in five people (20%) believe political parties have gone far enough in their promises to tackle tax avoidance by large companies.
  • 78% of respondents said it is important to them that large UK companies pay their fair share of tax in developing countries.

The public are right to be angry. At a time of falling household income, scandals like those of Starbucks, Google and Amazon have underlined that some big companies get away with paying much less than their fair share of tax in the UK and erode our confidence in business.

And it’s not just in the UK. Some of the poorest countries in the world are losing out on tax funds which can pay for vital public services and reduce dependency on aid. Some British companies are making huge profits while paying virtually no tax back to these countries. This needs to change. Tax rules need to be fair, and be seen to be fair.

While some of the solutions to this problem lie in international processes, which we should continue to support, there is much that the UK can, and should, do to improve the tax system at home. Our proposals, detailed in the enclosed Parliamentary briefing and with a fullpolicy report on the, set out three areas for action which, if tackled, could recoup billions of pounds for the UK and some of the poorest countries in the world.

We welcome the statements you have made placing tax at the heart of the responsible capitalism agenda, and the work of the Shadow Chancellor and his team in setting out proposals for Labour’s vision for corporate taxation.Therefore, as your party puts together its manifesto for the coming election, we urge you to commit publicly to a vigorous and immediate assault on corporate tax avoidance, as a priority of the incoming Government.

You can see the campaign video here you can tweet your support using the hashtag #MakeTaxFair

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