STUC on Guardian Tax Avoidance Expose

February 2nd 2009

Commenting on the Guardian’s investigation into secret corporate tax avoidance schemes, estimated to be costing the UK around £10bn a year Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary, Grahame Smith said:

“The Guardian’s investigation is an outstanding contribution to the growing public debate on the future of taxation in the UK. The STUC has been campaigning for an overhaul of the taxation framework in order to remedy the situation that currently sees low wage workers pay a higher proportion of their income in tax than the super-rich.

“At a time when Government is bailing out global corporations on a monumental scale, it is no longer tenable for one-third of the UK’s top 700 companies to be paying no tax at all. Corporations benefit from public investment so it is only fair that they contribute towards paying for it.

“The supply side myth that we will all benefit from tax cuts for business and wealthy individuals was thoroughly debunked years ago. It is appalling that too many Scottish politicians and employer representative groups continue to cling with shameless self-interest to such discredited policies.

“As a first step the UK Government should introduce a new law called a 'general anti-avoidance principle' that treats all tax avoidance as unacceptable and therefore open to challenge”.

ENDS

For further information contact Stephen Boyd Assistant Secretary (STUC) 0141 337 8100

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