Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Tax Bus Blog Wednesday: The Politics of tax dodging

I’ve been blogging about issues around Tax to mark the visit of the Tax Justice Tour to Scotland this week. 

Today the Bus visits the Scottish Parliament, where there will be an opportunity for MSPs, Parliamentary researchers and others to board the bus and find out more about what Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty are calling for.

Neil Findlay MSP, who represents the Lothians, has achieved cross-party support for his motion, which I’ve copied below.

If you are reading this and live in Scotland, please consider writing to your MSPs asking if they have signed the motion, and if not, to do so!

One of the challenges we face is that however sympathetic Scottish politicians might be to the cause of greater transparency, accountability and responsibility in the tax system, the only real change will come from wealthy individuals and institutions changing their attitude to tax dodging. 

As a lot of these issues touch on global trade and economic policy the UK Government and Westminster Parliament need to be convinced as well; but with support at every level of power, influence and leadership, hopefully the message that the system has to change can be heard loud and clear.

The Tax Justice Tour website allows you to sign an online petition to add your name to a list which will be presented at the end of the Tour to the Prime Minister.

Motion S4M-04217: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/09/2012

Christian Aid, Tax Justice Bus

That the Parliament commends the work by Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty in taking their Tax Justice Bus around the UK and Ireland raising awareness of tax dodging; notes Christian Aid’s estimate that the global culture of financial secrecy costs the developing world $160 billion every year, which is one and a half times what is delivered in international aid; understands that, in the UK, the poorest people are also worst affected by the impact of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance; notes that the Tax Justice Bus is in Scotland between 1 and 5 October 2012, stopping in Dumfries, Alloway, Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Inverness and Inverurie, including a stop outside the Parliament on 3 October to allow MSPs and parliamentary staff to meet campaigners, and welcomes the opportunity for people to get on board the tax bus and find out why tackling tax dodging is so important in the fight against local and global poverty.

So get on board by signing the on-line petition, by writing to your MP and MSP, by telling your friends and neighbours that they too can get on-board. There’s plenty of room on the bus! 

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