GMB says new Labour government must close corporate tax loopholes

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, GMB, UK unions, Union busting

Adrian BeecroftUnion-buster Adrian Beecroft, who has donated £843,000 to the Tories, has been implicated in the Luxembourg loophole tax scandal.

Apax Partners, the company owned by Beecroft, is one of 340 firms identified by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) investigation whose files have become available thanks to the ‘Luxembourg Leaks.’

The leaks, more than 28,000 pages of tax documents, show a confidential cache of secret tax arrangements approved by the Luxembourg authorities that provide tax relief for these companies. With complex structures, the global companies can avoid billions in taxes by routing their profits through Luxembourg.

Beecroft was criticised by trade unions after he wrote a report for the government calling on staff in small firms to lose unfair dismissal rights – something, he admitted, might allow bosses to fire people they did not like.

He also called for an end to pension, flexible working, parental leave, gangmaster and equal pay rights.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: “Tax avoidance and tax evasion on an industrial scale is endemic, systemic and deep rooted in the City and for wealthy people like Adrian Beecroft across the UK.

“Secrecy jurisdictions i.e tax havens – use secrecy to attract illicit and illegitimate or abusive financial flows. Luxembourg is not an isolated case. Secrecy in tax matters in UK territories combined lead to them to top the world tax avoidance league table and UK companies make full use of this secrecy.

“An estimated £20,000 billion of private financial wealth is located, untaxed or lightly taxed, in secrecy jurisdictions around the world.

“A global industry has developed involving the world’s biggest banks, law practices and accounting firms which not only provide secretive offshore structures to their tax- and law-dodging clients, but aggressively market them. ‘Competition’ between jurisdictions to provide secrecy facilities has, particularly since the era of financial globalisation took off in the 1980s, become a central feature of global financial markets.

“This secrecy world gives rise to fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance, escape from financial regulations, embezzlement, insider dealing, bribery, money laundering and creates political impunity.

“The next Labour government has to use all its powers to stop this secrecy. Crown territories that refuse to play by the rules need to be stripped on links with the Queen and look elsewhere for a new Head of State.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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