Reaction: Government should allow MPs vote on Financial Services Bill as a matter of urgency

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Oxfam campaigners in Trafalgar Square to call for tax haven transparency. Photo credit: Andy Hall/Oxfam

Commenting on the cancellation of today’s debate on the Financial Services Bill, at which MPs were expected to vote in support of an amendment to require British crown dependencies to bring in public registers of company ownership by 2020, Oxfam head of inequality Rebecca Gowland said:

“It should be when not if the crown dependencies are required to lift their veil of secrecy – they are at the heart of a global network of tax avoidance that costs poorer countries and regions $170 billion a year.

“Given the level of cross-party support in Parliament for action to make UK-linked tax havens more transparent the Government should allow MPs a vote on this as a matter of urgency.

“Transparency is needed sooner not later to prevent countries being deprived of revenue that could be used to fight poverty and fund schools and hospitals.”

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Four UK-linked territories – Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the British Virgin Islands – were named as among the 15 worst corporate tax havens in the world, in Oxfam’s Tax Battles report published December 2016.

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