Oxfam response to European leaders meeting on tax in Brussels

Posted by Sarah Dransfield Senior Press Officer

22nd May 2013

European leaders met in Brussels today at a summit to discuss tax. Whilst they are taking welcome steps to crack down on tax dodging, Oxfam says their efforts will do little to help poor countries. In response, Oxfam's Head of Development Finance and Public services, Emma Seery, said

"We recognise the fact that David Cameron is taking the tax agenda seriously enough to push for an automatic exchange of tax information between governments to be multilateral and open to all countries, even though other EU leaders are pushing for this at a G20 level only. 

"Despite this effort, today was a missed opportunity, as European leaders failed to get a tax deal on the table that will help governments in poorer countries to claim the taxes they are rightfully owed.

"Two thirds of global offshore wealth is sitting in tax havens linked to the EU, but European leaders' didn't manage to reach an agreement to set up a public tax havens blacklist. Without this, it will be impossible to impose counter measures against tax havens and those using them.

"We hope that leaders meeting at the G8 summit next month will pressure tax havens to join a global deal to share tax information. This is vital so that all countries - especially the poorest - can tax companies and individuals fairly. They must also commit to making ownership of companies and other assets public, so that nobody can avoid paying tax by hiding their money or setting up phantom firms."

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For more information, or to arrange an interview with an Oxfam spokesperson, please contact: Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam Senior Press Officer, on 01865 472269, 07767 085636 or email: sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Oxfam published new figures today revealing that £12 trillion is hidden by wealthy individuals in tax havens worldwide, representing £100 billion in lost tax revenue - twice what's needed to end extreme world poverty. 
Two thirds - more than £7.8 trillion - is sitting in tax havens linked to the EU.

Blog post written by Sarah Dransfield

Senior Press Officer

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