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9 December 2020

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Super-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

  (Click to enlarge)

Dave Gorton, Chesterfield Socialist Party

320 billion is lost annually to corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion, the equivalent of nearly 34 million nurses' salaries, according to the Tax Justice Network.

Poorer countries are most affected, with tax losses amounting to 52% of their combined public health budgets. It's still the equivalent of 8% of public health money lost to tax havens in richer countries.

Multinational corporations move $1.38 trillion profits out of the countries where they were generated into havens yearly. Global offshore financial wealth reached $11 trillion in 2018.

It is the rich countries, and their dependencies, who allow abuse to flourish. British overseas territory, the Cayman Islands, tops the list for tax losses - followed by the UK itself, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the US. The Cayman Islands has more registered businesses than residents.

The UK, and what the Tax Justice Network report calls its "spider's web", is responsible for 37.4% of world tax losses.

It's no surprise big business and the world's richest individuals are fiddling to a huge extent. The question is what should be done about it.

Sadly, the Tax Justice Network doesn't have answers, relying on self-regulation as the solution. For self-regulation to work, those currently profiteering would need to be convinced they were in the wrong! This challenges the whole ethos of capitalism - a system based on the accumulation of private profit.

The executive coordinator at the Global Alliance for Tax Justice starts to 'get' this: "Failure to deliver meaningful reforms... makes it clear the task was impossible for a club of rich countries."

His solution - get the United Nations (UN) to deal with it - completely misunderstands the role of the UN in defending that capitalist club.

Socialists support measures like wealth taxes. Tackling tax evasion means removing the system which allows the accumulation of such obscene private wealth in the first place - the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with a socialist society.

In the shorter term it means nationalising those responsible for the exploitation. This will become a key demand in building new mass workers' parties around the world.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

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The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 9 December 2020:


Fund NHS, not Tory crony contracts

Covid vaccines only first step - fight job losses, austerity and 'virus' of capitalism

High street jobs, safety and pay: We have to fight

Super-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

Luxury for some, poverty for the rest of us

What we think

Should Corbyn stand for London Mayor?

Workplace news

RMT gen sec election - vote for Steve Hedley

Further education workers win pay rise in Wales

HMRC pay talks - PCS needs to organise members now

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera

South London council workers vote to strike

International news

Right populism after Trump

Malaysia: Massive capitalist exploitation of migrant workers exposed by Covid pandemic

International news in brief


Engels and the answer to the housing question

Campaigns news

Welsh trades councils rally against the pay-freeze

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Tenants and workers unite to take on landlords

'Oxford, Cut the Rent!' campaign kicks off

York students determined to build for rent refunds and free education

London Socialist Party hits the streets

Readers' opinion

TV review: Red, White and Blue

The Socialist Inbox


Obituary: Roger Priest


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Protesting in  Leeds as part of  a Socialist Students day of action on the education funding crisis. 21st April 2021

Protesting in Leeds as part of a Socialist Students day of action on the education funding crisis. 21st April 2021

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