Ten years ago I created the concept of country-by-country reporting. Now the European Commission wants to apply it to banks, but the UK and Germany, in particular, are objecting.
This is utterly hypocritical on their part: both say tax avoidance is at the top of their agenda. Banks are at the heart of the tax avoidance industry. Knowing what they do and where is vital to beating tax avoidance. Country-by-country reporting would tell us that.
Worse, George Osborne says he wants country-by-country reporting for oil and mineral companies in Africa but not for banks in London. The dual standard implied is indication of how hollow his and David Cameron's commitment is to beating tax avoidance.
Now Avaaz are organising an urgent petition in support of country-by-country reporting for banks. Please sign it, here. And this is urgent: the EU negotiation on this is tomorrow. Avaaz want 150,000 signatures on this petition by then. That's a long way forward from the audience for my first paper on this subject, which I thought would be just two people.
As I said in Brussels today, we've won the argument on the ideas. Now we need the action. Please help deliver it.