BY Ian Dunn | June 18 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

11-ENOUGH-IF-FOOD-PIC-2

SCIAF cautiously optimistic over G8’s closing announcement

Summit’s closing communique urges countries to ‘fight the scourge of tax evasion,’ a key focus of the one of the key focuses of the Enough Food for Everyone IF… campaign, but fails to deliver strong Syrian conflict statement

The announcement by the leaders of the G8 major economies that they will pursue new measures to clamp down on tax avoiders has been greeted with cautious optimism by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and other campaigning groups.

The two-day G8 summit was hosted by the UK and its closing communique urged countries to ‘fight the scourge of tax evasion’ and said government had agreed to give each other automatic access to information on their residents’ tax affairs. The G8 leaders also call for shell companies—often used to exploit tax loopholes and invest money anonymously— to identify their effective owners. The measures are designed to combat illegal evasion of taxes, as well as legal tax avoidance by large corporations that make use of loopholes and tax havens.

Philippa Bonella, SCIAF’s head of communications and education, said this was a welcome development but more information was required.

“The G8 communique sends a strong signal to companies conducting covert deals out of sight of the public gaze, and those deliberately robbing developing countries by not paying their fair share in taxes,” she said. “However, whilst the commitment to share greater information is a move in the right direction, we now urgently need more detail on how this will be taken forward. It is only then that we can have confidence that these commitments will be honoured.”

An end to corporate tax evasion was one of the key focuses of the Enough Food for Everyone IF… campaign to end world hunger of which SCIAF was part.

The campaign took ten thousand protestors to Belfast last weekend to put pressure on world leaders to end world hunger and had the firm support of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Bishops Conference of Scotland of which SCIAF is an agency.

The G8 leaders failed to agree strong statement on Syrian conflict, as urged by Pope Francis. They called for a UN investigation into the use chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad but stopped short of calling for the removal of the Syrian president.

 

—ian@sconews.co.uk

 

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