This morning ActionAid, Christian Aid and Savior Mwambwa from our Zambian partner CTPD kicked off the International Development Select Committee’s investigation on tax and development in fine style.
The committee, made up of 12 MPs who oversee the work of the Department for International Development announced the investigation earlier this year – a sure sign that our demands for tax justice are being heard at the highest levels. Their investigation will look particularly at the role of the UK and its companies in the developing world and they’re using Zambia as their main example.
After all three of our organisations submitted written evidence to the investigation, we were invited to give oral evidence in parliament this morning. The session went really well, with Savior setting out a compelling case for why countries like Zambia like need tax justice. He was able to give a first-hand account of the impact of tax dodging by Glencore’s Mopani mine in Zambia, and how SABMiller is able to avoid its tax bills in the country.
Meanwhile our very own Martin Hearson outlined the detailed steps DFID and the government needs to take to ensure a coherent approach to the problem of tax dodging in developing countries. He was particularly critical of the government’s current plans to relax UK anti-tax haven rules, which could cost the developing world £4 billion every year.
The committee will be hearing more evidence and visiting Zambia in March, so watch this space….