Warm words won’t do on tax evasion George, we want action and you’re not delivering

Posted on

As the Guardian reports this afternoon:

The G7 group of industrialised nations has agreed collective action needs to be taken to target tax avoidance and evasion, the chancellor George Osborne has said.

Speaking at the end of the two-day summit of finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Osborne said it was “incredibly important that companies and individuals pay the tax that is due”.

Osborne said there was also strong agreement among the seven member nations – the United States, Germany, Japan, the UK, Italy, France and Canada – on tackling tax cheats.

“We all agreed on the importance of collective action to tackle tax avoidance and evasion,” he said.

“It is incredibly important that companies and individuals pay the tax that is due and this is important not just for Britain and for British taxpayers but also for many developing nations as well.”

Which are all nice warm words. But the sting is in the tail of the report:

Shadow treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said: “It’s disappointing that this G7 meeting has failed to set out any concrete steps to promote economic growth or tackle tax avoidance.”

Precisely: there was no communique, no plan, and no sign of action.

So it’s just warm words. And they won’t do George. We know they don’t work.