Bristol’s Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, who is also a member of the European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee, comments on the latest big tax leak, the Paradise Papers saying:
“These leaks offer another disturbing glimpse into the murky world of offshore finance, used by wealthy individuals and big business for tax evasion and tax avoidance.
“Once again, the UK and its offshore territories are at the heart of things. This makes it all the more outrageous that the UK is among the countries blocking progress on the future EU blacklist. If the UK is to have a positive future trading relationship with the EU, it is going to have to clean up its act when it comes to tax. Regulating the legal limbo of its overseas territories is likely to be a key demand and the UK government should use the powers at its disposal to end their tax secrecy.
“The report of the Panama Papers inquiry has already come up with concrete policy proposals that could help to prevent the activity revealed in the Paradise Papers. That another major leak has emerged before we have even completed our work on the last one shows the scale of the problem we face. The European Parliament needs a permanent inquiry committee, along the lines of those already seen in the US Congress, to enable the parliament to react quickly to future reports of tax avoidance, evasion and money laundering.”