On 12th April, after months of campaigning, the European Commission announced new proposals to tackle tax dodging by multinational corporations.
Following the outcry from the Panama Papers leak, country-by-country reporting and a common list of tax havens – measures I have long campaigned on and which were proposed and backed by Labour MEPs, and shamefully rejected by our Tory counterparts.
In my previous work for Action Aid I saw first hand the damage that tax avoidance does to developing countries in particular, whose public services rely on a stable and reliable tax income.
By making big companies open their books and publicly declare where they make their money and where they pay their tax, the EU has again shown its value by taking a major step in the fight against tax avoidance, one which the UK Government has failed to take.
The Panama Papers revealed tax avoidance on an enormous scale, with an estimated €1 trillion loss to public finances.
More still needs to be done, but the leadership being shown by the EU is welcome – it’s now up to ministers, especially in the UK government to support and not oppose the Commission’s proposals and begin to tackle the problem of tax dodging.