A representative from Ernst & Young came to the meeting I spoke at in the European Parliament last night on country-by-country reporting.
He was a very confused chap. I concentrated on EU related issues: Eurodad, as a development agency, unsurprisingly concentrated on developing country issues. And then up popped E & Y (and I paraphrase, but I hope accurately):
"I'm confused." he said, "You want to tackle corruption is developing countries and you want to help EU countries collect tax. What is it you really want?" The poor chap sounded so confused as if reconciling such aims was beyond his no doubt highly paid ken.
But is it really that hard? We want accounts that simply say where a multinational corporation operates, what it is called in each country it operates and a profit and loss account, limited balance sheet and even more limited cash flow data for each country (almost without exception) on a basis that also reveals intra-group trading and that therefore holds global capital to account locally, wherever local might be.
Is that so hard to understand? I beg to suggest it isn't, unless of course you're wilfully blind and a major representative of the 1%. Not that I'm suggesting such a thing of E & Y, of course.