How to find the money to solve all our problems

Close your eyes and think of a warm tropical island. You know the sort…white sands, palm trees and those funny umbrellas made out of bits of old coconut. And full, absolutely full, of money that was earned using the legal, transport and defence systems of countries from which the said money was quickly extracted before any tax could be paid upon it.

According to Tax Justice Network [1] there is between $21 and $32 trillion sitting in offshore tax havens around the world. That’s enough to pay for a decent health service, education system, old age care and a reasonable defence budget or everyone in the world. The amounts squabbled over in day-to-day politics are negligible by comparison. All our problems with climate change adaptation and renewable energy could be solved by taking back just a fraction of that money. Your money, because the chances are that you did much of the work to create it, before it was spirited away.

Where are these tax havens? How did the whole sorry system come about? Before some of you accuse us again of being too Anglocentric, we have to say that the UK and the City of London have been pretty instrumental in bringing all this about. But they are far from being the only culprits, as Philip Inman [3] makes clear. Meanwhile, for those who like their History, Oliver Bullough has a nice little series [2] which, unlike many of the links we post here, invites you to listen, rather than read. So there’s a refreshing change.

Money must flow, jurisdictions must have their sovereignties, we won’t dispute that. But who rightfully owns that money, and who benefits from recondite notions like sovereignty are questions which we would ask you to think about carefully indeed.




#tax haven #offshore #shell company

see also LSS 15 12 2021

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