Oxfam reaction to EU leaders’ timid ambition to clamp down on tax dodging

Published: 22nd May 2013

European leaders failed today to meet the expectations they had raised of cracking down on tax dodging at a summit in Brussels. In reaction, Catherine Olier, Oxfam’s EU Policy Adviser, said:

“EU leaders backed the interests of an elite minority, instead of those of the majority of citizens around the world who would benefit from an EU clamp down on tax dodging at a time of widespread public cuts. They have failed to agree to set up a public tax havens blacklist and to impose sanctions against tax havens and those using them.

“It is encouraging that leaders seem open to greater transparency on the activities of multinationals and are willing to push forward automatic exchange of information between governments within the EU and at the G8 and G20 level. However, it is the world’s poorest who are hit hardest by harmful tax practices, and there is little sign that EU leaders intend to involve developing countries in this global push."

Notes to Editors

  • International agency Oxfam published today new research revealing that $18.5 trillion is hidden by wealthy individuals in tax havens worldwide, representing a loss of more than $156 billion in lost tax revenue - twice what's needed to end extreme world poverty. Two thirds - more than $12 trillion (€9.5 trillion)- is sitting in tax havens linked to the EU.
  • ‘Tax dodging’ refers to both tax avoidance, which relates to the use of legal (but immoral) methods to modify someone’s financial situation in order to lower the amount of tax owed, and tax evasion, which is also known as tax fraud and is an illegal practice where a person, organization or corporation intentionally avoids paying its true tax liability.

Contact information

Angela Corbalan on + 32 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

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