Anti-tax haven campaign launched at world forum

| 09/02/2011

(AFP): Civil society groups at the World Social Forum have launched an international campaign to push members of the G20 group of leading economies to end financial secrecy in tax havens. "We want G20 leaders to end the tax haven secrecy that allows companies to hide their profits and avoid paying taxes in developing countries, and agree on measures to promote financial transparency," they said in a statement Tuesday. The campaign by organisations such as Oxfam, Christian Aid and the Tax Justice Network Africa calls on "citizens of the whole world to send a message to the G20 and Nicolas Sarkozy in particular, so they can carry this to the November summit."

The groups estimate tax losses in countries of the South at more than $170 billion US dollars per year, "more than the total budget for development assistance, while the economic crisis leads to significant budget cuts and millions of children still lack access to education."

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