G20 must work to end tax haven secrecy | ActionAid UK

G20 must work to end tax haven secrecy

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Addicted to tax havens

Leaders meeting at the G20 summit in Cannes on Thursday must seize the opportunity to find a solution to the financial crisis by forcing tax havens to be transparent and making it easier for both developed and developing countries to raise much needed revenue.

At the G20 in London in 2009, world leaders agreed to take action against tax havens, saying they would deploy sanctions to protect public finances and financial systems. “Much of the shadow banking sector, a major contributor to the economic crisis, was also only possible because of tax haven secrecy,” business secretary Vince Cable acknowledged at the time.

Glencore massive tax dodgingA blacklist of uncooperative jurisdictions was published at the summit and those that featured on it have since scrambled to comply with its requirements, with all but a handful given a clean bill of health. But developing countries have not yet benefited, and some including India and Argentina have called for the G20 to raise the bar at this week’s summit, when they discuss progress on tax haven transparency.

Hearson said: “The Gates report is likely to mark a real step change in how the world thinks about generating the investment needed to end poverty. ActionAid is impressed that one the world’s most successful entrepreneurs has correctly identified that we need to do much more to support developing countries to expand their own revenue bases.”

Follow Martin Hearson's blog from the G20