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Oxfam Scotland welcomes UK Government review of Scottish Limited Partnerships

Posted by Lisa Stewart Campaigns and Communications Manager, Oxfam Scotland

16th Jan 2017

The Secretary of State for Scotland today confirmed that a review of Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs) will take place following months of public campaigning by Oxfam and its supporters.

In a letter in which he thanked Oxfam for raising the issue with him, David Mundell MP confirmed the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy department has launched a review into SLPs. 

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:
"We warmly welcome today's announcement by the UK Government that it is reviewing the operation of Scottish Limited Partnerships.

"It has been clear for some time now that although SLPs are legal, and that not all of them are being abused, they are insufficiently transparent and may  be helping those who want to dodge tax. Wherever it happens it is the poorest people who lose out the most due to tax dodging as vital revenue is lost that could be used to fund public services like health care and education.

"We are grateful to Roger Mullin MP for championing this issue at Westminster and for the support of all five party leaders in Holyrood. We would also like to thank David Leask of the Herald for his great work on this issue and other journalists who have also highlighted the potential abuse of SLPs. we are grateful to David Mundell for recognising the role that Oxfam Scotland has played in raising awareness of this issue."

Over 2,000 Oxfam supporters contacted David Mundell, alongside the leaders of all the parties represented in the Scottish Parliament, demanding a review of the mechanism amid detailed allegations it is being abused by tax dodgers. All five Scottish party leaders had already backed the Oxfam campaign. 

The announcement comes on the day that Oxfam launched a new report 'An economy for the 99%' highlighting that the world's eight billionaires own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who form the poorest half of the world's population. The report outlines the need to fix the broken economic system that concentrates huge wealth in the hands of a tiny elite, including through the avoidance of tax. Such practices contribute to a world in which one in nine people still go to bed hungry. 

Livingstone said:
"We hope today's announcement sends a powerful message that Scotland and the rest of the UK  have no desire to be linked, in any way, to tax avoidance. We are also grateful to David Mundell for recognising the role that Oxfam Scotland has played in raising awareness of this issue.

"We hope this review will lead to urgent measures to close any loopholes identified and we are hugely grateful to Oxfam's supporters who have campaigned for this outcome." 

Ends

For more information on Oxfam Scotland's campaign on SLPs and to see the responses to the campaign by party leaders in the Scottish Parliament, see: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog/2016/12/responses-from-political-parties-to-our-campaign-on-scottish-limited-partnerships 

Further details about the review launched by UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy can be accessed here: UK Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Blog post written by Lisa Stewart

Campaigns and Communications Manager, Oxfam Scotland

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