By Adam Musgrave, Oxfam’s Inequality Campaign Manager
Oxfam cares about tax havens because they’re at the heart of a deep inequality crisis.
“Inequality prevents people from escaping poverty.”
Tax havens allow wealthy individuals and big businesses to dodge paying their fair share, depriving governments of crucial money that could fund the schools, hospitals and clean water that people living in poverty desperately need.
Over the last few years, we’ve been campaigning the end the era of tax havens. It’s been a marathon not a sprint, but with your help, we’re winning. Here’s six highlights of how you’re helping us make a difference.
- Oxfam’s hard-hitting research has exposed how some of the world’s biggest companies have been stashing their profits in tax havens – from Europe’s largest banks to American drug companies. We’ve also shone a light on the world’s worst tax havens to highlight how they are fuelling a damaging race to the bottom on corporate tax.
- Our shocking ‘heist’ film, showing the real impact of tax dodging on public services like healthcare, was watched by millions online.
- Oxfam campaigners have attracted the media’s attention through some amazing stunts, including turning London’s Trafalgar Square into a tropical tax haven.
- Inspiring tax campaigners from Kenya and Nigeria toured European capitals, meeting politicians, supporters and journalists, and giving powerful testimonies about the impact of tax dodging in their countries.
- An amazing three quarters of a million signed a global petition demanding leaders do more to tackle tax havens.
- Our campaign targeting RB, the makers of Vanish and other well-known brands, led to the company calling for stronger tax transparency rules for all MNCs.
Campaigning works, and the pressure is forcing governments and tax havens themselves to change. Just three of the campaign victories that you’ve helped us achieve are:
- The government has committed to forcing UK-linked tax havens to publish registers of beneficial ownership, which will lift the veil of secrecy about the wealthy companies and individuals who are using tax havens. Just last month, the UK’s ‘Crown Dependences’ of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man announced that they would follow suit.
- The European Union has adopted a ‘blacklist’ of tax havens. It’s far from perfect, but has created renewed pressure on tax havens to reform. Oxfam’s campaigning around the EU’s blacklist led to us being voted as the most influential institution in the EU.
- Just last weekend, the G20 confirmed that new global tax rules will be negotiated over the coming years that could put tax havens out of business for good. One of the proposals is for a global minimum effective tax rate that would ensure that companies cannot take advantage of tax havens offering 0% corporate tax rates. If adopted, these kinds of radical proposals will help poor countries raise the critical tax revenue they need to fund public services like health and education.
The fight against tax havens is far from over, but with your help, we’re winning!