The leaked list of names spans the globe, with current and former officials who stashed their cash in offshore accounts evading onerous taxes back home. The news has stirred outrage, forcing policymakers to crack down harder on tax fraud while they impose harsh austerity – including higher taxes – on their citizens. The European Commission says tax cheats cost EU governments 1 trillion euros in lost revenue annually.
Five EU countries – Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – have agreed to exchange tax information, and called on the European Commission to get all 27 member states on board. This follows the resignation of France’s budget minister – the very man in charge of acting as a tax watchdog – after it emerged he hid his money in Swiss bank accounts.
Are governments doing enough to close those gaping tax loopholes? Or are those havens stark evidence that tax rates in some countries are just too high and too tempting to evade? How come so many people have been paying so little for so long?
To answer some of these questions, our guests are Robin Hodess from Transparency International’s, Philippe Lamberts from the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, and Mario Tuor, spokesperson for the Swiss government’s State Secretary for International Financial Matters.
Join us for this edition of The Network on the fight against offshore accounts.