Taking on Tax Havens

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November 29, 2011 by Tess Riley

The New Internationalist have just published Time to Tackle Tax Havens, a wee article by yours truly about the launch of a great new campaign to raise public awareness about the serious harm tax havens are doing worldwide.

You can read the article in full here. For an idea of what to expect, have a sneaky peek at the opening section below.

First up though, let me tell you brielfy about the campaign. The Tax Justice Network have produced an online resource about tax havens that not only looks great but also explains even some of the trickier aspects of tax havens in easy-to-understand language, and with lots of illustrated case studies. You might not think ‘tax’ and ‘fun’ belong in the same sentence but you may well want to think again once you’ve been onto the Tackle Tax Havens website (and add ‘informative’ and ‘inspiring’ to your list of adjectives while you’re at it.)

I’ve been lucky enough to be working on this project with TJN recently and I have to say I’m impressed by both the campaign and the public reaction to it… keep up the great work TJN!

Oh yes, and before I forget, there is a super animation explaining what tax havens are on the new site. If you’ve not watched it yet, there’s no time like the present:

New Internationalist: ‘Time to tackle tax havens’

With tax evasion costing the world more than $3.1 trillion every year, the urgency of tackling tax havens has never been greater, reports Tess Riley.

New research undertaken by Richard Murphy on behalf of the Tax Justice Network has put the cost of global tax evasion at a staggering $3.1 trillion a year, or more than 5 per cent of global GDP.


$3.1 trillion a year is a seriously significant figure by anyone’s standard. To help put it into context, Murphy has compared countries’ tax evasion figures to their levels of healthcare spending, calculating that in 67 of the 145 jurisdictions assessed, tax evasion losses are larger than the entire healthcare budgets of those countries. In Bolivia, for example, tax evasion is more than four times the South American country’s health spending – in other words, over 400 per cent.

To read the rest of this article, check out the New Internationalist website here.


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