Release of offshore records draws worldwide response

   0   0 Blog

The International Consortium of Investigative journalists last year began a rolling series of stories in partnership with media organisations around around the world, based on leaks of 2.5 million secret offshore records. Finding and releasing so much hard evidence on the subject that we have been so closely involved in for so many years has been tremendously influential in focusing politicians’ minds.

They have just published a very long list of changes that have happened in the offshore world since the leaks. It’s well worth reading  – even though the story comes with important caveats. First, one could be forgiven for thinking that there has been major progress on cracking down on offshore secrecy. There has certainly been some progress – but as our Financial Secrecy Index recently explained, we’re just at the beginning of seeing what needs to happen.

Second, the story they just wrote does give the impression that these changes have been all triggered in large part by the ICIJ’s reporting.

We take our hats to the ICIJ for its remarkable and hugely influential work on these leaks: it is an absolutely fantastic series, and long may it continue.

But we should also note that the leaks come in the context of a far greater groundswell of change that most obviously began in April 2009, long before Offshore Leaks, when world leaders gathered together at a G20 meeting in London to declare that “the era of banking secrecy is over.”

That statement was the fruit of two main things: first, years of painstaking work by TJN and various other allies around the world to highlight the offshore problem and explain it as an economic phenomenon, long before the mainstream media and politicians began to catch on. Second, and just as importantly at the time, the global financial crisis and recession that was then engulfing the world, causing cash-strapped governments to respond to rising fears of inequality (hats off here to the Occupy Movement, the Equality Trust in the UK, several others in the U.S., France and elsewhere) and to seek revenues to pay for massive bank bailouts.

Although there’s lots of news these days about a global recovery, this seems still to be fragile and rather hollow – and the recovery doesn’t seem to be news to the majority of populations in many countries, where middle class wages are stagnant or falling even as wealth at the top continues to boom.

But the groundswell is there. The knowledge we and others have created is permanent, and the tax justice movement is growing in momentum every day.


Related Posts

UN must defend target to curtail multinational companies’ tax abuse

Photo by Luca Santori, Creative Commons LicenseThe Tax Justice Network, The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and the Global Alliance for Tax Justice call on the UN Secretary General to make sure the commitment to action on tax abuses by multinational companies remains part of the new UN Sustainable Development Goals.

READ MORE →

The BVI: Responsible for worldwide tax losses of $37.5 billion a year

BVI report blogAn extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 […]

READ MORE →

Event: Making Tax Work for Women in the UK and Globally

Invitation_ Tax and Gender eventOn Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 16.30 our very own Liz Nelson will be speaking at an event in London that aims to bring together gender and tax justice advocates to highlight the need for coherent and gender-responsive fiscal policies to safeguard the rights of women and girls both in the UK and globally. The […]

READ MORE →

Historic event on women, human rights and tax justice in Bogota

BogotaLast week civil society organisations, researchers, labour union activists and policy makers met in Bogota, Colombia to explore how tax justice issues can ensure governments, multinational corporations and others meet their obligations to women in order to secure their full range of human rights. The Women’s Rights and Tax Justice conference opened with a conversation […]

READ MORE →

The Offshore Wrapper: the Panama Papers, one year on

Photos from the Protest outside PwC 1 Embankment Place, part of the Global week of action for tax justiceWelcome to the Offshore Wrapper – your weekly update from TJN.  Happy Paniversary! This week it’s been one year since the Panama Papers were leaked, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice. In London, activists from the TJN and the […]

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top