The minority UK government elected last week is scrambling to agree a ‘confidence and supply’ agreement with a tiny party from Northern Ireland called the DUP (originally the Democratic Unionist Party). The DUP has attracted considerable attention in the past 24 hours because of its Protestant fundamentalist religious values and general social conservatism. TJN would like to point out the DUP’s commitment to tax havenry, and in particular its policy of competing with other countries within the United Kingdom in a race-to-the-bottom on the corporate income tax rate.
In this new brief just published by the Sheffield Political Economics Research Institute authors John Mikler and Ainsley Elbra address the issue of global corporate tax avoidance and consider how multinational corporations can be made to pay their fair share of tax.
The following blog by TJN’s Nicholas Shaxson (currently on a book writing sabbatical) was originally posted on the SPERI blog and is re-posted here with permission.
In debates about tax policy we need to de-emphasise the role of economics and measurement and rekindle the politics
From the United Nations General Assembly, the fifth report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order. The summary goes like this:
“The report focuses on impacts of taxation on human rights and explores the challenges posed to the international order by widespread tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax fraud and profit shifting, facilitated by bank secrecy and a web of shell companies registered in tax havens. The Independent Expert calls for resolute action by the international community, including through the creation of a United Nations tax cooperation body, the adoption of a United Nations tax convention, the phasing out of tax havens, the revision of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to include the obligation of corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and the adoption of a financial transactions tax.”
As you can imagine with an introduction like this, here’s a lot of tax justice stuff in here, and TJN gets a number of mentions. It follows our earlier blog on calls by Rafael Correa, head of the G77 group of developing countries, for an international tax body. Among other things, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order discusses the definition of ‘tax havens’ and refers to TJN’s alternative term ‘secrecy jurisdiction’ while providing further details on TJN’s Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) and the top listed jurisdictions on the FSI 2015 here (p9 and in the annex).
We’ll highlight only this section below for now, which is a recommendation for the following: