My analysis of the Lough Erne Declaration

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This is the G8 Summit declaration with my comments between the quotes:

LOUGH ERNE DECLARATION

Private enterprise drives growth, reduces poverty, and creates jobs and  prosperity for people around the world. Governments have a special responsibility to make proper rules and promote good governance. Fair taxes, increased transparency and open trade are vital drivers of this. We will make a real difference by doing the following:

1. Tax authorities across the world should automatically share information 

Automatic information exchange wins its required and necessary endorsement

2. Countries should change rules that let companies shift their profits across borders to avoid taxes, and multinationals should report to tax authorities what tax they pay where.

This is an endorsement of country-by-country reporting for submission to tax authorities - a major step forward on this issue

3. Companies should know who really owns them and tax collectors and law enforcers should be able to obtain this information easily. 

Unfortunately even the UK action plan for this is inadequate

4. Developing countries should have the information and capacity to collect the taxes owed them – and other countries have a duty to help them.

This empty rhetoric right now

5. Extractive companies should report payments to all governments - and governments should publish income from such companies.

The EU and US already require this - so it's not exactly innovation

6. Minerals should be sourced legitimately, not plundered from conflict zones. 

Isn't that a statement of the obvious?

7. Land transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities. 

Long overdue - why has it taken so long?

8. Governments should roll back protectionism and agree new trade deals that boost jobs and growth worldwide.

In other words, tarde deals will be stacked against developing countries who need protectionism

9. Governments should cut wasteful bureaucracy at borders and make it easier and quicker to move goods between developing countries.

Is that really a G8 issue?

10.Governments should publish information on laws, budgets, spending, national statistics, elections and government contracts in a way that is easy to read and re-use, so that citizens can hold them to account.

Vital - and I bet the last one to happen

18 June 2013