From: Alejandro Valle Baeza (valle@SERVIDOR.UNAM.MX)
Date: Sun Aug 26 2007 - 21:02:02 EDT


"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society"

The world's leading development agencies have taken a lead in the
current debate about corruption and development, but have often ignored
concerns about how tax havens encourage and enable capital flight and
tax evasion.  In a world of globalised capital markets, tax havens
create an offshore interface between the illicit and licit economies.
This interface corrupts national tax regimes and onshore regulation, and
distorts markets by rewarding economic free-riders and mis-directing

Tax havens are a major cause of inequality and poverty.  They function
as a result of collusion between banks and other financial
intermediaries and the governments of states and micro-states which host
their activities.  The major culprits include the United States,
Britain, Switzerland and other European countries which promote tax
havens and prevent efforts to clamp down on their activities.

In June 2000, Oxfam published a briefing called Tax Havens: Releasing
the Hidden Billions for Poverty Eradication, which drew attention to the
harmful impacts of tax havens on developing countries and identified why
their negative impacts are felt more forcefully in the South.

In March 2005 we published a briefing paper called The Price of Offshore
which estimated that the amount of funds held by individuals in offshore
tax havens, is about 11.5 trillion US dollars.  Using this estimate we
calculated the worldwide tax revenue lost on the income from these
assets at 255 billion dollars.  Every year.  This amount would more than
plug the financing gap to achieve the United Nation's Millenium
Development Goal of halving world poverty by 2015.

In 2005, Christian Aid published a report called The Shirts Off Their
Backs in which the authors warned that unless the massive gaps in poorer
countries' revenues are plugged by responsible tax policies and
international action to curb tax havens, the UN's poverty reduction
targets will be missed.  The Shirts Off Their Backs shows how poorer
countries are losing $500 billion  a year in revenues to prosperous
international tax dodgers.

More on this:

Alejandro Valle Baeza

Posgrado Facultad de Economía

Av. Universidad 3000 Circuito interior

México 04510, DF México

Tel. 55-56222148 fax 55-56222158

Página web: http://usuarios.lycos.es/vallebaeza

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri Aug 31 2007 - 00:00:10 EDT