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Stiglitz to tax haven UK: you are aiding and abetting theft

Joseph Stiglitz, (WEF, creative commons.)

Joseph Stiglitz, (WEF, creative commons.)

Our quote of the day, from Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, commenting in the wake of the UK election:

“Some of these people are just using your rule of law to protect money they have stolen in other countries . . . From a global point of view, you are aiding and abetting theft.”

Britain goes to the polls: the tax avoidance election

May 5, 2015   Blog, Corporate Tax
Tax dodging

The message is getting through. The policies may not be

An interesting thing about the forthcoming UK election is that the subject of ‘tax avoidance’ has risen up the agenda so far and so fast. This guest blog briefly reviews the main parties’ manifestos, with a look out for their uses of the term.

[We should add, by the way, that ‘tax avoidance’ is a tricky term to use, and is often wrongly used, as David Quentin has reminded us. We prefer terms such as ‘tax cheating’ which sidestep tricky questions of legality.]

The Offshore Game – new TJN report on offshore finance in football

header_tofFrom The Guardian, a major new story whose introduction runs as follows:

“Research by the Guardian and the Tax Justice Network reveals 28 English clubs with substantial shareholdings overseas, opening up the football leagues to criticism for allowing ownership structures that could be used for tax avoidance.”

See The Offshore Game website, and the main report, here.

‘National Competitiveness’: a crowbar for corporate and financial interests

Will Davies, Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), Goldsmiths, University of London

Will Davies, Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), Goldsmiths, University of London

This was originally posted yesterday at the new Fools’ Gold site, which is dedicated to understanding how nations do or don’t ‘compete’.

The term “UK PLC” — the ‘PLC’ bit standing for Public Limited Company — evokes notions that whole countries behave like corporations. It is routinely trotted out by politicians in the United Kingdom: why, this FG editor even heard (and gnashed teeth at) this very term on the BBC’s Today Programme this morning, on a day when 100 UK business leaders signed an open letter suggesting that the UK must display that it is “open for business” by supplying further tax cuts and other goodies to large corporations.

Versions of these kinds of slogans, implicitly equating the interests of large corporate players with the wider national interest, can be found in most countries.

In our latest article, Will Davies asks how slogans such as these – which are intimately intertwined with notions of ‘national competitiveness’ – have managed to achieve such sway over policy-making, around the world.

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