How I’m tackling tax secrecy in the overseas territories

Today I tabled an amendment supported by 80 MPs from eight different political parties in Westminster calling on the Government to finally clean up our country’s notorious tax havens.

My amendment would ensure the UK’s Overseas Territories adopt the same transparency standards as the rest of the UK by the time of the next UK general election scheduled for 2020.

By introducing public registers of beneficial ownership, Overseas Territories would have to publically disclose who owns what company in their jurisdiction, shining a light on who owns the assets hidden across the world.

The UK’s Overseas Territories include the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands which constitute some of the world’s most notorious tax havens. These secretive jurisdictions allow criminals and tax avoiders to hide their money away. Campaigners estimate that as much as $32 trillion may be hidden away in tax havens worldwide.

The UK’s Overseas Territories which act as tax havens have a particularly damaging effect on developing countries. The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimate that tax havens cost developing countries at least $100 billion a year in lost revenue, while the OECD has previously said that tax havens may be costing developing countries up to three times the global aid budget.

The amendment will be debated in the early New Year so please do ask your own MP to sign up to the amendment if they haven’t done so already!

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