The EU must get its own house in order, according to Oxfam’s analysis five EU countries

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EU tax avoidance
The EU must get its own house in order, according to Oxfam’s analysis five EU countries

The EU must get its own house in order, according to Oxfam’s analysis five EU countries

Tax havens are fuelling an inequality crisis that sees 8 people own the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet. We must work together and call on world leaders to end their use, once and for all.

Tax havens deprive countries and their citizens of hundreds of billions of dollars, fuelling inequality and poverty. The EU will soon release a blacklist of tax havens operating outside the EU, and issue sanctions for those listed.

However, power politics means that several significant tax havens could be missing from the list. The blacklist is being drafted in secret, putting citizens in the dark and leaving tax havens free to use their political and economic leverage to get themselves off the EU blacklist.

Oxfam shadowed the EU blacklist, using the EU’s own criteria to shine a light on which countries should be on the list if it applied its own criteria objectively, without bowing to political pressure. We also identified the EU countries that would be blacklisted if the EU didn’t exclude its own member states from the list.

Oxfam report on tax blacklist

Quote from Molly Scott Cato MEP


Today, Oxfam have published their latest findings into the EU’s tax haven blacklist. European Union finance ministers will sign off on an updated EU black list next week, where it expected that several key tax havens will be removed from the list.

Molly Scott Cato, Greens/EFA spokesperson on tax comments:

“It’s very welcome that Oxfam is drawing attention to the way that tax havens facilitate organised crime and undermine the rule of law. The EU should show the same kind of ambition when it comes to the truth about the flaws in the global financial system. Anything other than a robust, systematic and comprehensive EU blacklist of tax havens isn’t fit for purpose. Unfortunately, it looks like the EU is about to bow to pressure from the UK and others to delist significant tax havens, such as British Overseas Territories, which is particularly worrying with Brexit around the corner.

“It seems we’ve gone from what was supposed to be an effective blacklist against tax havens to what will essentially be a post-it note of a couple of countries that do not have the clout to lobby EU capitals.

“The EU must get its own house in order, according to Oxfam’s analysis five EU countries, including Cyprus, Malta and the Netherlands would make it on the EU’s blacklist if it followed the criteria for Member States as well as third countries. It’s unacceptable for countries that could be considered tax havens to have a veto over taxation rules in the EU. The EU needs to get tough on the US when it comes to bad tax practices and call for reciprocity in the exchange of tax information between the US and EU, failing that the EU should use counter measures such as withholding tax.”

Explore our interactive map

The list is based on 3 criteria:

  1. Tax transparency
  2. Fair taxation (so that large corporations aren’t given preferential treatment, for example)
  3. Participation in international tax forums

Countries that fail any one of these criteria are listed as tax havens.

Oxfam calls on the EU to ensure that effective sanctions are applied to known tax havens. EU governments must put the interests of their people above those of tax havens and multinational corporations if they are going to close the gap between rich and poor.

Take action now

Tax havens are fuelling an inequality crisis that sees 8 people own the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet. We must work together and call on world leaders to end their use, once and for all.

Read the full report

Add your name to our petition to world leaders, and let’s end the era of tax havens.

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