The BBC pay data provides evidence on the importance of transparency

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The BBC pay data could just have provided some evidence for tittle-tattle. I am sure many in the BBC might wish it had done just that. That's because it did so much more. It provided what seems to be pretty damning evidence that there is something wrong at the BBC, which appears to be living in a time warp when it comes to gender equality.

I make the point for several reasons. First I want the issue addressed.

Second, I want the information from all companies and organisations. I am quite sure the BBC is not alone in discriminating as it does so I see no reason why it alone should be required to disclose.

Third, this data proves the power of transparency to promote reform. The clamour for change that exists today would not have happened without information to fuel it.

The tax justice movement knows information has changed the way we work.

We also know that having consistent reliable data on who uses tax havens; who owns companies and on the activities of multinational corporations via country-by-country reporting would radically transform what we know about tax and its abuse. And just as the BBC will have to change so would tax behaviour change if we knew more about it.

No one wants to be known as a cheat. Tax transparency would reveal those who do cheat. That may not stop it all, but it would go a long way to solving the problem. Which is why we will keep in working for tax transparency, taking on the rearguard action being fought by tax haven operators in defence of their defenceless activities.