ActionAid Head of Advocacy, Ms Charlie Matthews, responding to the new ICAI (Independent Commission for Aid Impact) report ‘UK aid’s contribution to tackling tax avoidance and evasion’, said:
“This report confirms that UK aid’s approach to tackling tax avoidance is incoherent, ineffective and is in danger of failing to deliver for the world’s poorest people. Women and children living in poverty suffer when schools and hospitals are starved of funding by corporate tax avoidance, estimated to cost developing countries a staggering US$200 billion a year.
“Instead of standing by as the UK pushes tax reforms designed to meet the needs of rich countries, DFID needs to listen to poorer countries and ensure efforts to reform the global tax system are informed by their needs. This report should kick-start a cross-government approach to tackling global poverty and tax avoidance. DFID working with the Treasury to ensure UK tax policies do not hold back poor countries and instead support their efforts to escape poverty would be a vital first step. In order to help developing countries stand on their own two feet, the UK needs to crack down on tax havens, fix unfair tax treaties and end the ‘race to the bottom’ on corporate taxes.”