Russia torpedoes G8 efforts to oust Assad
Final communique does not even mention Assad’s name
Development charities and anti-poverty campaigners welcomed the action to open up tax havens and enforce openness on extractive industry contracts, but said that the agreement did not go far enough for poor countries to reap the full benefits.
Speaking at a press conference at the conclusion of the summit, Mr Cameron said that today’s agreement “has the potential to rewrite the rules on tax and transparency for the benefit of countries right across the world, including the poorest countries in the world”. New mechanisms to ensure that multinational companies pay taxes in the countries where they earn their profits will allow the authorities to “track and expose those who aren’t paying their fair share” and ensure that “we get proper tax payment and proper tax justice in our world”, he said.
But the 10-point document, released after two days of talks at Lough Erne, falls short of the demands of anti-poverty campaigners, who want the developing world included in the new arrangements from the start and have called for tax information to be made available to all on public registers.
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The declaration says only that developing countries “should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them”, rather than guaranteeing them automatic access to the information.
Lough Erne Declaration
1. Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information to fight the scourge of tax evasion.
2. Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where.
3. Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily
4. Developing counties should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them - and other countries have a duty to help them.
5. Extractive companies should report payments to all governments - and governments should publish income from such companies.
6. Minerals should be sourced legitimately, not plundered from conflict zones.
7. Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities.
8. Governments should roll back protectionism and agree new trade deals that boost jobs and growth worldwide.
9. Governments should cut wasteful bureaucracy at borders and make it easier and quicker to move goods between developing countries.
10. Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account.
Additional reporting: Reuters