Bristol’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has said that new EU rules, which Greens helped secure, have exposed banks for stashing away their profits in tax havens.
Revelations from investigations by Oxfam show that the 20 biggest banks in the eurozone booked over a quarter of their 2015 profits in tax havens, with Luxembourg and Ireland the favourite destinations. By using data from country by country reporting, a transparency requirement recently established under EU law, Oxfam were able to investigate the activities of banks. Molly points to the advances made in the EU in tackling tax avoidance, but also calls for country by country reporting to be extended to all sectors. She said:
“These revelations are the result of Greens pushing for country-by-country reporting (CBCR) for banks. It shows how CBCR, which forces banks to publish information such as turnover, staffing, profits and the amount of tax paid, is a useful and powerful tool in helping to identify and crack down on tax avoidance. We now need to see this measure extended to all sectors.”
Molly also warned about the future of the UK outside the EU:
“At a time when the EU is beginning to implement rules which are clamping down on tax dodging, Theresa May has indicated she is willing to establish the UK as a low tax economy. This will only strengthen the arm of bankers, corporations and wealthy elites in avoiding paying their fair share of tax; money we all need to help create a fairer and more equal society.”