What’s the big takeaway from the Panama Papers? That there’s a set of tax rules for the wealthy elite, and another for you and me.
Governments around the world pretend there’s nothing they can do. This is nonsense. Our governments have the power to legislate on tax, and the power to regulate their financial services industries. They choose to do nothing because they run scared of powerful vested interests.
But there’s one thing that scares governments more — the people. If thousands of us tell world leaders to clamp down on these dodgy tax havens, then they’ll be left in no doubt to the strength of feeling. We are tired of being ripped off by the rich and the powerful.
These offshore tax arrangements are destroying our society. If big companies and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share of tax, then we don’t get basic public services and we have to pay higher levels of tax than we should!
The Panama Papers show that the vast majority of offshore companies are dodgy: they are being used to hide assets from tax authorities, thwart investigations, and protect criminal behaviour.
There aren’t many honourable reasons to park your cash offshore, so it’s time our governments acted.
This is a fight our community should be involved in. Corporations run around the world playing country off against country and it’s only us, ordinary citizens that suffer. Our community around the world is millions strong. If we act with determination and with a single loud voice we can put an end to the greed and selfishness of the rich and the powerful and make them pay their fair share.
The power is in our hands and now let’s use it.
Thanks for all that you do,
Martin, Eoin, Sondhya, Jon, Kat and the team at SumOfUs
The Panama Papers, ICIJ, 6 April 2016
Panama Papers: Iceland PM Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson steps down, BBC, 6 April 2016
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