Tax evasion – a threat to democratic government

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Sweden provides yet more evidence of what happens when democratically elected politicians are found to be tax avoiders (and maybe evaders). The new centre-right government of Sweden has, according to the Guardian already lost two cabinet ministers because they have admitted to evading tax payments due when they employed nannies in their domestic households. Both have also admitted not paying their television licence fee (one for up to 16 years) despite clearly having the means to do so. Another cabinet minister has, according to the Guardian admitted the same offence.

So a right wing cabinet is rocked by tax avoidance and evasion and the electorate of a country are failed by politicians who are proven not to have met their obligations to society.

The Tax Justice Network has persistently said that tax avoidance and evasion are a threat to democracy. The evidence that we are right is mounting. In this case, Sweden cannot have the government of its choice because elected members of their parliament have participated in this activity. That's not as bad as a military coup in Thailand, but all of it undermines the credibility of the state and the benefits that flow from it.

Declaration of interest:

The Murphy family employs a domestic cleaner. PAYE is operated on payments made to that person.

The Guardian also covered this story.