Close Tax Loopholes for the Rich and Powerful
There are few things that anger the public more than the rich and powerful dodging taxes the rest of us have no choice but to pay.
The release of the Pandora Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is the latest in a slew of offshore tax scandals. This time the leaks are centred on politicians. Tony Blair, a major Conservative donor and even the Crown estate are all caught up in the story.
It’s deeply unfair to see rich people and politicians paying less tax at the same time that the government is raising taxes on ordinary workers.
In truth, over the last ten years a lot has been done to clean up these types of schemes.
However, much more could still be done by our politicians.
Sign our petition to close tax loopholes for the rich and powerful
If it chose to, our government could use its 80 seat majority in the House of Commons to clamp down on tax dodging. Politicians could lift the lid on the type of opaque offshore companies used by Cherie Blair to avoid a £300,0000 stamp duty payment for the purchase of office space.
A law creating a public register of who really owns UK property through offshore arrangements is gathering dust in parliament. The government should pass this legislation now.
Many of the professionals who enable abuse aren't regulated properly, as this report by Transparency International UK points out. There's limited enforcement when bankers, accountants and lawyers are found to have enabled wrongdoing.
Finally, as our friends at TaxWatch revealed earlier this year, you are 23 times more likely to be prosecuted for benefit fraud in the UK, than tax fraud. Yet the government has cut the number of tax inspectors working for HMRC. This is about political will.
Tax officials bring in many times the revenue that they cost. Between 2016 and 2019 HMRC carried out a third fewer tax inspections. This should change.
The Pandora Papers is hot news this week because it exposes lurid details about how the rich and powerful live. If politicians want to end this kind of coverage, it’s in their power to act.
Sign our petition to get Boris Johnson to clamp down on the tax loopholes used by the rich and powerful