UK Gold: A film about Tax Avoidance and the City of London
The UK Gold film was hosted by Bernard Carré and Suzanne Baker on 5 March 2014 at the Art House café in Southampton. A lively discussion took place following the screening. Here are the links to further information:
Bernard Carré made reference to The Richard Dimbleby Lecture 2014, with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
Inequality is perhaps one of three major problems that affect our global economy, along with climate change and demography. The nature of trade has changed for multi-national corporations, with an estimated 50% of world trade passing through tax havens. The City of London is often described as the largest tax haven in the world.
Action Aid estimates that developing countries lose $160billion to tax dodging, which is more than they receive in aid each year.
Read more at http://www.actionaid.org.uk/campaign/tax-justice-policy#wOD9r3370SYlaejj.99
So what can we, as individuals, do in response to tax avoidance? Here are some suggestions from Bernard Carré and other members of the audience:
Encourage our MPs to sign Carline Lucas’s Early Day Motion in support of the Fair Tax Mark:
Like the Fairtrade mark, the Fair Tax Mark enables customers to identify which companies are paying their fair share of tax.
”Given the choice, many people would prefer to give their custom to a responsible business that does the right thing and pays its fair share of tax. The Fair Tax Mark helps give them the power to make that choice, and seeing customers vote with their feet is perhaps the most effective deterrent there is to companies engaging in tax avoidance or other irresponsible practices.”
– Margaret Hodge, MP and tax justice campaigner
Move our money:
Move to banks such as Triodos and mutual building societies.
Where to find out more information?
http://www.taxjustice.net/ includes a daily blog
http://www.positivemoney.org/ a movement aims to democratise money and banking so that it works for society and not against it.
Recommended books included Treasure Island by Nicholas Shaxston and The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brooks (available from local bookshops like October Books if you want to avoid Amazon).
What Southampton could do locally?
Suzanne Baker mentioned that Peterborough have created a map of the city showing companies that avoid tax. Could we do something similar in Southampton?
If you have comments on these, we’d love to hear from you. Do join in the conversation at www.facebook.com/dangerousideassouthampton too.