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Christian charity calls for stricter tax avoidance rules after new poll

by Tola Mbakwe

The findings of the ComRes study commissioned by Christian Aid have been published ahead of the Budget on Wednesday, which is expected to include new measures against tax avoidance following further revelations made in the Paradise Papers.

The poll also found that more than four in five Britons agree that large companies in the UK can avoid tax too easily and that large companies should pay their fair share of tax in developing countries.

Simon Kirkland, Christian Aid UK parliamentary and political adviser, said: "Tax havens cost the UK economy billions of pounds in lost revenue each year.

"They also cost developing countries hundreds of billions of pounds that could instead be used to tackle poverty.

"But Government appears to have developed a tin ear to overwhelming public opinion. It appears to be complacent on the issue and has introduced measures that are often too little too late."

Christian Aid has called for immediate action from the Government. It suggested that Ministers insist that companies publish the taxes they pay in every country they are represented in. It's a rule that the government had the authority to put into place in June 2016, "but have done very little to make it a reality".

Kirland added: "Given the scale of tax avoidance linked with the UK's tax havens, the Prime Minister should set a deadline for the UK's Overseas Territories to adopt the same transparency on true company ownership as the UK.

"We also want to see the UK committing to further leadership at the global level to ensure stronger global coordination and action to ensure that the poorest, most vulnerable, countries do not continue to be hit the hardest by tax avoidance."

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