Ed Miliband has told UK overseas British territories that he will not tolerate them helping companies who are evading tax after Labour wins the election. Territories that operate as tax havens will be put on an international blacklist within six months of a Labour government taking office – unless they produce a public register of offshore company owners.
By some estimates tax evasion by large companies like Amazon and Starbucks costs the British government £120 billion every year. If these companies paid their fair share there would have been no need for cuts to services and plenty of money to invest in health, education and housing.
Despite claims from Conservative prime minister David Cameron that he would crack down on tax evasion, none of the ten British overseas territories – including places like Jersey, Guernsey, Bermuda and The Cayman Islands – have taken any steps to prevent their banking systems being used to dodge tax.
“The current Conservative leadership have become the political wing of offshore hedge funds,” Ed Miliband told a recent conference. “Unlike them, we will not stand by. We will ensure a country where everyone plays by the rules, from top to bottom.”
David Cameron has failed to enforce new rules to stop so-called “shell companies” using British territories lax rules to avoid taxes. Ed Miliband has made clear, a Labour government will act.
Miliband has written to the leaders of these overseas territories, saying, “a Labour government will not allow this situation of delay and secrecy to continue. Labour will act on tax avoidance where the Tories will not.”