One less hiding place for tax dodgers
Written by Campaigns Assistant Kit Powney
We have wonderful news to share! Today Parliament passed new anti-secrecy laws! Thanks to tireless campaigning by thousands of Christian Aid supporters, tax dodgers now have one less place to hide. The UK will create a public register of company ownership that reveals who owns which companies, where they are located, and for whose benefit. It’s a great step forward and means that it’s harder for unscrupulous companies to hide their profits and dodge the taxes they owe.
So how did you win this campaign?
1. Your campaigning helped ensure that tax was top of the G8 agenda when world leaders met in Northern Ireland in 2013. They said ‘Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes’ and ‘Developing countries should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them’.
2. In August 2013, you started calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to fulfill the commitments of the G8 and leave tax dodgers nowhere to hide. More than 20,000 of you petitioned the government to introduce new laws that would create a public register of company ownership.
3. In September and early October we garnered support for the new law at party conferences with our giant Russian dolls (symbolising one shell company within another).
4. While we were touring the country, campaigners wrote their own responses to the government’s public consultation.
5. In late October 2013, we had a massive victory when David Cameron announced that the new law would be created.
6. Over the last 15 months or so, with your support, we’ve helped ensure these new laws made their way through Parliament, drafted in a way that will help poor countries reclaim tax they’re rightfully owed. And today we have a new law.
This fantastic success is down to the actions of thousands of campaigners — thank you to everyone who contributed. We still need to push the government to do more. But we’re confident that, with your support, we can continue to close the loopholes and leave tax dodgers nowhere to hide.