Britain’s Trade Unions Congress has published projections showing the increasingly unbalanced growth of the UK economy. As you can see from this map, economic activity is skewed in the direction of England’s south-east region, which includes London. It’s forecast to produce 40.1 percent of the UK’s gross domestic product by 2022. Given the importance of the City of London’s offshore financial centre to the region, this is a vivid demonstration of the Finance Curse in action.
This week is the global week of action for tax justice and on Wednesday 5th April activists from the Tax Justice Network and Methodists for Tax Justice held a protest outside the London offices of Price Waterhouse Coopers.
The global week of action for tax justice is happening one year after the release of the Panama Papers. The Panama Papers were the latest in a series of large leaks from the offshore world that have revealed the true extent to which lawyers, bankers and accountants have facilitated the hiding of vast amounts of money in offshore financial centres by individuals and companies. One year on, these facilitators of financial impropriety have suffered few consequences and continue to operate with impunity.
In early September 2017, ten years after the collapse of UK bank Northern Rock, TJN will be publishing a special edition of Tax Justice Focus, guest edited by Professor Daniel Mügge (University of Amsterdam) which draws on fresh research from the EU-funded Enlighten programme. In this article Professor Mugge argues that faced with intractable problems of rising debt, and the obvious limitations to what financial regulators can achieve in the face of a hugely oversized financial sector, debt forgiveness must be added to the policy list if we are to avoid chaos in the global economy.
In our March 2017 Taxcast: the high price we’re paying for our finance sectors – we look at staggering statistics showing how the US finance sector is a net drag on their economy.
Also, as the British government initiates Brexit divorce negotiations to leave the EU, we discuss something they ought to know, but obviously don’t – they’re actually in a very weak position. Could it mean the beginning of the end of the finance curse gripping the UK economy?
Featuring: John Christensen and Alex Cobham of the Tax Justice Network, and Professor of Economics Gerald Epstein of the University of Masachusetts Amhurst, author of Overcharged: The High Cost of High Finance. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.
Download the mp3 to listen offline anytime on your computer, mobile/cell phone or handheld device by right clicking here and selecting ‘save link as’.
“If you look at particular finance centres, say London and New York, the problem is that the net cost of this system is quite significant, it imposes a cost not only on people who use finance but for the whole economy. So, what we need to think about is what are the more productive activities that ought to be substituted for these excessive aspects of finance?”
Professor Gerald Epstein
“We might be seeing the start of the end of Britain’s grip by the Finance Curse”
John Christensen, Tax Justice Network on Britain’s weak position in Brexit negotiations
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The problems with measuring tax systems SPERI
‘In debates about tax policy we need to de-emphasise the role of economics and measurement and rekindle the politics’. Blog by TJN’s Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World.
The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management – On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption
New book by Jason Sharman
How human rights law has been used to guarantee corporations a ‘right to profit The Conversation
Read about Tax Justice and Human Rights here.