Tax havens cost Africa 7% of their GDP

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According to Reuters Jeffrey Owens, head of tax at the OECD said on Friday that:

Tax havens have a bigger impact on developing countries than on developed countries

He continued:

There is an enormous drainage of revenues to tax havens. This is equivalent to around 7 to 8 percent of gross domestic product for the African continent and a multiple of the aid it gets from developed countries.

He also said:

[The] push to reduce barriers to trade through the Doha world trade round also stood to deprive poorer countries of key tariff revenues [because] easy-to-collect tariffs now constitute as much as half of many poorer countries' entire tax collection

explaining that:

It's far easier to levy a tariff than to collect value added tax. You just need a guy at the border but as more and more countries join the World Trade Organisation they join in the commitment to reduce tariffs.

All of which is to be welcomed, whilst the revelation that the OECD thinks the loss of revenue from Africa alone is at least $250 billion a year (for this is what this equates to) means that we in the Tax Justice Network and Christian Aid have been seriously underestimating these losses to date.

Which just shows how responsible we are.

And how right we have been to argue this case.

And that action needs to be taken on it, now.