In light of the investigation into tax havens published today by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other news organizations, Susana Ruiz, Oxfam’s Tax Policy Advisor made the following statement:
“The Panama Papers give us a disturbing look into the murky world of tax dodging, a problem that governments and international institutions refuse to tackle head-on. The true scandal is that many of the cases uncovered are not always illegal, but instead, fully legal practices that ruthless abuse a weak and inadequate tax system. Real political will is needed urgently to plug these holes.
“We live in a world of plenty but wealthy individuals and international corporations are robbing billions of dollars in taxes from countries, including very poor ones, as they are able to abuse tax havens due to our weak international tax system. Every single year, poor countries lose $170 billion, while 400 million people don’t even have access to basic healthcare, due to tax dodging.
“Oxfam wants people to live safe, healthy and dignified lives. However this is not possible while governments keep open tax loopholes for the few, leaving little money to spend on quality public services for the many.
“All governments, rich and poor, must work to end tax haven abuse because it is their citizens – their electorate – who are the biggest losers. Oxfam calls on governments to penalize banks and any others who facilitate tax dodging, and to rein in countries with weak legislation that allows tax dodging."