Make it harder for companies to dodge taxes

I met a young man called Edward in Parliament recently.

Edward is from Zambia where in a recent election tax dodging by global mining companies was a big issue.

He told me how failing to pay their fair share of tax left his country, and many developing countries, short of money to invest in schools and hospitals.

A quick look at the big global companies dodging tax in his country shows that they are advised on tax matters by big law firms in our country.

Four out of five adults in Britain agree it is too easy for large companies in the UK to avoid paying tax. Almost the same number say it is important to them that large UK companies pay their fair share of tax in developing countries in which they operate.

To be fair, this government is planning to legislate for country by country reporting. Except only ten per cent of multinationals will be required to report and none of it will be made public.

The first Finance Bill of the next Parliament needs to make it harder for big companies to dodge UK taxes and ensure UK tax rules don’t encourage big companies to avoid tax in developing countries.