Labour launches Tax Transparency Enforcement Programme

Launching Labour’s Tax Transparency Enforcement Programme, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said:

“After a week of half-truths and spin from this government in the wake of the revelations in the Panama Papers leak, it’s time to clean out the tax havens with real government action.

“It should be a matter of shame to the British Government that more than half the companies recently named in the Panama Papers were registered in UK-governed tax havens.

“Not only has this Government impeded international efforts to crack down on tax avoidance and to tackle tax havens but senior figures are personally implicated in these immoral schemes.

“It is deeply concerning that our Prime Minister has still failed to clarify whether or not he or his family were benefiting directly or indirectly in 2013 when he was lobbying to prevent EU measures to better regulate trusts as a way to clamp down on tax avoidance.

“Labour’s Tax Transparency Enforcement Programme will stop the super rich hiding their wealth from legitimate taxes whilst the rest of us our told there is not enough money to pay for the public services we all rely on. No longer will the richest wilfully avoid paying their fair share while disabled people have their support to live independently brutally cut.

“Under this government there has been one rule for the rich and another for the rest of us. Tax haven corruption is not just a tax issue - it drives at the very heart of our democracy and its credibility. We risk eroding public trust in our democracy if we do not tackle the issue head on.

"Only Labour has a comprehensive plan to restore transparency to our tax system.

“Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will stand up for tax payers. We will end the era of government turning a blind eye to the scandal of tax avoidance and work in partnership with leading tax experts to root it out. We’re going to close down the havens and close the loopholes.

“These sorts of schemes fund terrorism and launder criminals’ money. It’s not just about tax avoidance. It’s an issue of basic morality and national security to take on this sort of behaviour.

“This has been a crisis at the heart of the Tory party that has descended into a scandal  of national proportions due to a Prime Minister who can’t be straight with the public. What we need now is a straight forward and honest approach as Labour are laying out today.”

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