Sunday’s massive disclosure by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) of the ‘Paradise Papers’ must serve as another wake-up call for the international community and the EU to fight against tax injustice, said GUE/NGL MEPs.
Some 13.4 million records from two offshore finance firms – Estera and Appleby – have been exposed to show the super-rich and multinationals have used lawyers to implement tax avoidance schemes which enable money to be moved around the globe undetected and untaxed.
Commenting on the leaks, GUE/NGL co-coordinator on the ‘Panama Papers’ Inquiry Committee, Patrick Le Hyaric, said:
“Given the number of leaks in the past few years and the depth of the scale disclosed, we hope that all political groups in the Parliament will support the recommendation for creating a Permanent Committee of Inquiry into such tax dodging as recommended by the ‘Panama Papers’ Committee”.
Meanwhile, Irish MEP Matt Carthy calls for more decisive action on a global scale:
“We need the toughest possible legislation on regulating the enablers and promoters of tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes.”
“The EU, which is currently working on such a proposal, needs to take note of where similar legislation has been put in place and failed, and avoid similar mistakes”
“In the EU, we need the swift and full implementation of all aspects of the Fourth Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD), and for member states to support strengthening the requirements on beneficial ownership and trusts in the fifth AMLD currently under negotiation.”
“Beneficial ownership registries which name the flesh-and-blood owner of the account need to be public,” he said.
Carthy also echoed calls by the Tax Justice Network for an urgent summit to discuss this global problem:
“I also fully support the call from the Tax Justice Network in response to the ‘Paradise Papers’ for a UN global summit to be urgently convened in order to deal decisively, and at a global level, with the problem of tax avoidance and tax evasion by the world's wealthiest individuals and corporations,” he concluded.