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REACTION Panama Papers leak highlights need for crackdown on UK tax havens

Posted by Melanie Kramers Senior Press Officer

3rd Apr 2016

The Panama Papers leak reveals wide-spread tax dodging by a powerful global elite and a strong connection between the UK and the firm at the heart of the scandal, Mossack Fonseca. More than half of the 300,000 companies it has acted for are registered in British-administered tax havens, as well as the UK itself.

Commenting on the leak, Oxfam's Head of UK Policy Richard Pyle said:

"This leak highlights the key role that UK-linked tax havens like the British Virgin Islands play in allowing a privileged elite to dodge paying their fair share of tax.

"People in the world's poorest countries pay the highest price for the billions of lost tax money when their governments are unable to fund life-saving healthcare such as midwives and vaccinations for children.

"The UK is in a unique position to help clean up the murky world of tax havens - starting by ensuring that the real beneficiaries of shell companies registered in the UK's Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, such as the British Virgin Islands, are revealed ahead of May's Anti-Corruption Summit in London."

ENDS

Oxfam's briefing paper sets out how the UK government can clamp down on tax havens.

For more information please contact: Melanie Kramers mkramers1@oxfam.org.uk +44 (0)7825 088894 

Blog post written by Melanie Kramers

Senior Press Officer

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