Tax justice campaigners plan busy year

| 13/01/2011

(CNS): Activists that the chair of Cayman Finance, Anthony Travers, has referred to as the “Tax Taliban” say they are planning a number of campaigns in 2011 to keep up the pressure to end tax haven secrecy. Christian Aid, a leading international charity and one of the many NGOs that says offshore tax havens contribute to third world poverty, says it will be launching a new phase of the tax campaign with the launch of a global call on G20 leaders to end tax-haven secrecy. “Without this secrecy, multinational companies would find it much harder to dodge tax in developing countries,” said Helen Collinson, Christian Aid’s economic justice campaign manager on the charity’s website.

However, Travers has referred to this position as a delusional one held by “disturbed individuals” who believe that one high global rate of taxation would solve global poverty. Describing various socialist activist movements, such as the trade unions, Oxfam and Christian Aid as well as the Tax Justice Network, as the “Tax Taliban”, he said their effectiveness was diminishing as their claims “are a heresy and are unlikely to withstand the tax transparency” that Cayman demonstrates.

Christian Aid said, however, that it is working with a loose coalition of organisations inEurope, the US, Latin America and Africa leading up to November’s G20 meeting. France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy will chair the meeting, and he has already expressed an interest in tackling tax secrecy.

The charity also plans to step up its Trace the Tax campaign regarding FTSE 100 companies that Christian Aid says avoid paying tax in developing nations. They are asking supporters to writeto four of the UK’s biggest multinational companies — Vodafone, Unilever, TUI Travel and Intercontinental Hotels Group — and persuade them to help trace the tax that the NGO says they have avoided paying.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Standing up for impoverished people who may not have powerful little friends, helping them to make the most of the existing law process and potential for their benefit is not the same as campaigning for unified global high taxation. Or whatever Travers is accusing Christian Aid of. Social justice is not the same as socialism, either. Their is not a constitutional connection between avowedly socialist ideals and Christian Aid.  Many who would and who would not describe themselves as socialists support the call to ask for transparent taxation in a system of multi-nationals seemingly able to ignore the spirit of taxation law – the infrastrutcure levy it is, for one – in any country they operate in. That ignoring by working around through the use of tax havens would not be fair and many perfectly decent captialists would agree. It is about sovereignty and facing responsibilities in an age of international cooperation.

  2. Captjohnsmith says:

    The only quasi-religious Taliban-like fanatics in the crowd are those who, like Traverse, continue — against all the evidence — to preach the continued debasement of the global tax system, and the eventual arrival — real soon now — of the perpetually-delayed global prosperity that was supposed to be guaranteed by deregulation, globalization, financial chicanery, and the continued unfettered operation of fetid, otherwise future-less tropical boltholes like the pathetic Cayman Islands.

    Your boltholes’ days are numbered — that’s why your language is so ("imbecile," "Taliban") is so hysterical. Calm down; go for a dive while you still have coral reefs. 

  3. Frank says:

    You know what else could also help the stop the poverty and help development of third world countries?? If the United States (The main advocate for ending tax free districts in the world) would stop wasting money on un-necessary wars usually within these countries) and give the money they would save from not going to war to them. Most simple solution right there in laymens terms but obviously there is alot more to it than that. They’ve dug themselves such a whole regarding their national debt that now it was only a matter of time before they start looking to the rest of the world to help pay it off!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Perfect name!  Tax Taliban.  Good Job Travers, keep them redistributionists tax thieves away.