Anti ‘tax dodging’ seminar

Anti ‘tax dodging’ seminar

Your island

There will be a seminar held at St Paul’s Centre in St Helier on 12 March by several international ‘civil society’ groups.

Islanders have been invited by a group of charities to attend a meeting to discuss how so-called "tax dodging" by offshore financial centres impacts on world poverty.

A spokesman for the group, which includes War on Want, Tax Justice Network and Debt and Development, said up to £250 billion is taken out of the global economy each year through tax avoidance.

The meeting is being held at St Paul’s Centre, in St Helier’s Dumaresq Street at 18.45.

Simon McRae, senior campaigns officer at War on Want told BBC Jersey : "£250 billion a year in tax is taken out of the system by tax dodgers which should be going to developing countries which they need to spend on public services on health and education and that is money they are being denied.

"The purpose of the meeting is to engage with people in Jersey, with local people to find out what they’re concerns are and for us to say what the impact of tax havens like Jersey are on the wider world economy and how they impact negatively on the poor."

John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network explained that the event was originally mooted at a major civil society event in Paris earlier this year.

He went on to explain that the event is being organised by “the largest economic justice coalitions in Europe.”

He told us that “the purpose of the seminar is to highlight the need for secrecy jurisdictions like Jersey to cooperate with strengthening market transparency, and to advocate that Jersey and other secrecy jurisdictions take measures to reduce their economic dependence on offshore financial services.”

Simon McRae went on to explain that they’re not targeting the people of Jersey, just the wealthy bankers and the system that supports them.

He told BBC Jersey : “It is right to say there is a lot of wealth in Jersey from banks and from individuals trying to dodge their tax through tax havens like Jersey but that doesn’t mean everyone in Jersey benefits from it.

"Up to a quarter of the people in Jersey are on some kind of income support, there is a great amount of inequality in places like Jersey. We’re trying to push for a just transition for an economy that is not based on tax havens to one that is more sustainable and more equal for people."

The meeting takes place from 18:45 on Thursday 12 March, speakers include economist Alex Cobham, from Oxford University, Attac representative Jacques Harel and Jersey resident Rose Pestana.

Voir en ligne : BBC Jersey

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