New infographic: Just what could £5.2bn of tax dodging pay for in the UK?

Posted by Joana Martinho Communications Officer, UK Poverty

31st Jan 2013

Today is the deadline for many people, maybe some of you too, to submit their tax returns to HMRC. Many people pay tax in the UK, but not everyone plays fair. Some people in the UK cheat: they illegally evade at least £5.2bn in tax every year, through tax havens. This is a lot of money; it's equivalent to £200 a year for every household in the UK.

Oxfam thinks that our government is not doing enough to crack down on tax dodgers, so we've created this infographic to show what £5.2bn could be spent on to tackle poverty in the UK:

Crack down on tax dodging on poverty infographic

(click on the image to expand the infographic)

How did we arrive at this number? We made a conservative estimate of how much of the UK's financial wealth is undeclared and held offshore in tax havens, and we calculated the approximate unpaid capital gains tax that could be collected from it. To know more, please look at our media briefing.

This money alone could pull millions of people out of poverty, and start tackling the growing gap between richest and the poorest in the UK. It could help people like Jack, a self-employed single mother from Southend-on-Sea, who struggles with buying food and paying her bills. Jack says: "I haven't had my heating on for about a year. I layer up, always have lots of jumpers on". She feeds herself and her toddler with only £10 a week, so an extra £21per week would make a huge difference.

The government has promised to bring in an extra £600 million from tax evasion this year, but that's just a drop in the ocean. We think they should aim higher. With the full £5.2 billion so much more could be done to tackle poverty.  That's why Oxfam is asking the government to really crack down on tax dodging, so we can help stop poverty in its tracks... Please spread the word and share the infographic.

Blog post written by Joana Martinho

Communications Officer, UK Poverty

More by Joana Martinho