In 100 days from today, people across the UK will be going to the polls to vote in the next general election. Between now and the election we have a real opportunity to shape the priorities of whatever party or parties get into the next government.
Since we last went to the polls lots has changed in the world, we’ve seen the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring, discovered that our governments are reading all our emails, had our lives forever enriched by the invention of the selfie stick, and tax dodging has gone from a technical issue to the front pages of every newspaper. The real scandal of these exposés of companies like Amazon, Google or Starbucks isn’t just that these companies are getting away without paying their fair share; it’s that they also deprive the government of billions that could be used to tackle poverty.
Tackle tax dodging, fight poverty
Tax dodging by these household names is just the tip of the iceberg. Every year the world’s poorer countries lose an estimated $160 billion to corporate tax dodging, more than all rich countries together provide in overseas aid. This is money that should be funding vital public services like education and healthcare.
Globally, 1 billion children live in poverty and in poorer countries 57 million children are still out of primary school. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. While so many governments’ budgets are already stretched, cracking down on corporate tax dodging can ensure there is money available to right these wrongs.
Politicians have the power to change the UK’s tax rules to make sure that companies here pay their fair share of tax when they do business here. Not only that, the UK’s tax rules can also help ensure UK companies pay their fair share of tax wherever else they operate - which includes some of the world's poorest countries.
That’s why in the run up to this election we have teamed up with a coalition of major charities and campaigning organisations including Oxfam, Christian Aid and the NUS to demand the next government takes real action to tackle tax dodging.
The Tax Dodging Bill - to make tax fair
We are calling on all political parties to pledge to introduce a Tax Dodging Bill within 100 days of the election, that would tackle tax dodging in poorer countries and the UK, to raise money to fight poverty. We’re calling for a law that will:
- Make it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure they’re not getting unfair tax breaks
- Make sure UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries
- Make the UK tax regime more transparent and tougher on tax dodging
We estimate that the Tax Dodging Bill could raise billions to tackle poverty here in the UK and could also help raise billions in developing countries, which could be spent on schools, hospitals and other essential services for people living in poverty.
We can win this – but we need your help. Join us. Together, we’ll make tax fair.