The HSBC tax-dodging scandal, and the lack of prosecutions, is intolerable when Lancaster, like the rest of the country, is being forced to cope with crude budget restrictions and reduced capacity affecting fire services, our hospital and much more beyond.
The freedom of the wealthiest to make use of lawyers and accountants to avoid the taxation that’s inevitable for the rest of us needs to end. The scandal reminds us as well of the problem of multinational companies being able to dodge taxes, cheating societies out of billions of pounds of lost revenue.
A study by a coalition of British charities estimates that at least £3.6 billion a year additional revenue would be gained from effective tax-dodging legislation. That’s the equivalent of £600 for every household living below the poverty line. Not to mention billions of pounds a year for developing countries which could be spent fighting poverty.
The Tax Dodging Bill campaign, involving Action Aid, Christian Aid, the Equality Trust, NUS and Oxfam, is saying enough is enough, and calling on all political parties to pledge to introduce legislation to tackle corporate tax dodging in the UK and beyond.
Maybe if this becomes a reality, we’ll start to see more accountability, more equality, and fairer policies being applied to local government so that we can see a renewal of the local services we’re rightly proud of.