There are some “fantastically corrupt” countries but, as the Nigerian President pointed out, most corrupt roads lead to funds stashed in British tax havens and the City of London. Successive governments have smoothed the way to Britain’s world leading role in tax avoidance and money laundering. Fifteen years ago, Gordon Brown oversaw the sale of the Inland Revenue’s 600 buildings to Mapeley Steps, based in the tax haven of Bermuda. Unbelievable but sadly true. 11,000 jobs have gone at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs since 2010 despite increasing awareness that industrial scale avoidance cuts UK annual tax revenues by billions.
Fine words will follow David Cameron’s anti-corruption summit. But it will need much more than the Panama papers to force Cameron to take action that spoils the party for his wealthy, UK tax avoiding, friends and party backers.
Sheffield Green Party