The Australian government should take “immediate steps” to end tax evasion scandals by the super-rich – much like the behaviour surrounding the Paradise Papers leak, according to Oxfam Australia.
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke says the Paradise Papers leak involving more than 13 million files demonstrated many were rorting the system to hide their wealth and avoid paying taxes in places like Australia.
She said it was now up to governments around the world – including Australia – to do something about it.
“Stopping the tax scandals is not impossible, if the political will is there. Oxfam’s five-point plan spells out exactly how governments can stop them,” Dr Szoke said.
“The Australian public deserves to have this information made available to them, and the government must put the interests of the public over the demands of the super-rich and big business.
“It is now time to act.”
Oxfam’s five-point plan to stop the scandals calls on the Federal government to:
- Agree a global blacklist of tax havens based on comprehensive, objective criteria and implement strong counter-measures including sanctions to limit their use.
- End corporate tax secrecy by ensuring all multinational companies make financial reports publicly available for every country where they operate; and make extractives companies also report on a project by project basis.
- End tax secrecy for the super-rich by establishing a centralised public register of the individuals who own and benefit from shell companies, trusts and foundations.
- Rebalance tax deals by making sure tax treaties do not exploit developing countries tax bases.
- Create a global tax body where all countries can work together on an equal footing to agree the fundamental tax reforms that are needed to ensure the tax system works for everyone.