Tax Havens & the Revolt Against Democracy


John Christensen Director, Tax Justice Network gave a talk on Sunday March 16th at the Hop Blossom Pub

Tax havens occupy a central place in contemporary capitalism. They have played a pivotal role in the reconfiguration of the global political economy, enabling a tiny minority to enjoy the benefits of representation without taxation. As a major tax haven nation, Britain has played a key role in shaping the global tax haven economy.

John’s talk presentation can be found  HERE. 

John-Christensen-director-007John de Prey says about the evening “John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network (TJN) described it as an organisation working for international tax co-operation and against tax avoidance, tax evasion and tax competition and is committed to reducing poverty and inequality and enhancing the wellbeing of the least well off around the world. It is part funded by various organisations and individuals, that include Oxfam, Christian Aid and the Norwegian Government who judge that better than the trickle of “aid” to needy countries. It investigates and makes information available to promote change through public debate and education.He pointed out that it is the shortage of tax revenue, and not excessive state spending, that has plunged public finances around the world into deficits. Not less than US$21 trillion are hidden by the world’s wealthiest people in tax havens. A large proportion of this wealth is managed from approximately 70 tax havens in order to either minimise tax or avoid paying tax altogether, typically by hiding moneys in a clutch of Trusts. If the income from this wealth was charged to tax in the countries where those individuals were resident or derived their wealth, the additional tax revenue available to fund public services and investment around the world would range between US$190-280 billion annually.

In combination, tax competition (where pressure is brought to bear on governments to reduce taxes that may result in an overall decline of corporation tax rates often resulting in a switch of the tax from the owners of capital to workers and consumers), aggressive tax avoidance, tax evasion and associated illicit capital flight to offshore finance centres imposes a massive cost on developing countries. This cost exceeds aid flows and also distorts investment patterns to the extent that it undermines growth in developing countries whilst also stimulating asset market bubbles.

David Cameron has said “We want to use G8 to drive a more serious debate on tax evasion and avoidance… This is an issue whose time has come.”

TJN is fighting, via G8 and G10, to improve tax transparency, remove tax distortions and restore practicability of taxing corporate profits.”

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