Campaigners from the Enough Food For Everyone If campaign today warned the G8 not to freeze out developing countries from any deal to clamp down on tax dodging amid worrying signs this could happen.
The IF campaign – made up of more than 200 charities, faith groups and other organisations – has heard from diplomatic sources that a deal is under discussion to create a new standard on automatic exchange of information about companies and individuals’ activities that would allow countries to clampdown on tax dodging. However there are fears that the deal will be limited to rich countries with developing countries frozen out.
The discussions are understood to focus on ‘reciprocity’ – whether developing countries must share the information they hold before they can access information themselves. While this sounds reasonable it is in fact being used as a barrier to keep developing countries out of any deal. Poor countries vitally need this information to crackdown on tax dodging.
Jenny Ricks, IF spokesperson said;
“If the G8 only delivers a tax deal for rich countries it will look like an increasingly self-serving club. While developing countries might not be around the table, their voices have to be heard.
“Any new tax deal must be open to developing countries from the start. Tax dodging in developing countries is a matter of life and death and keeps millions hungry.”
The IF campaign is calling for:
- Phantom companies used for tax dodging to be made a thing of the past with public lists kept of their ownership
- A new global standard on automatic information exchange that is accessible to developing countries from the start
The IF campaign met with the Prime Minister this morning ahead of the arrival of two ships on Lough Erne with ‘Stop Tax Dodging’ printed on their giant sails.
During the hand in of 1.4 million messages the Prime Minister told Zambian campaigner Pamela Chisanga that he would ensure any deal was a step forward for developing countries. It’s understood that the crunch meeting on tax will come late this evening during informal sessions ahead of the formal talks on tax tomorrow lunchtime.