'Tax rich to stop cuts' alert

25 March 2011 - 2:06pm
Press release

Charity demands blitz on abuse

Anti-poverty campaigners will today call for a crackdown on corporate and millionaire tax dodgers to stop the cuts in job and public services when they join the huge TUC national March for the Alternative in London.

The charity War on Want points to the British government spending hundreds of billions of pounds to bailout UK banks and a decline in tax revenue because of the recession caused by the global financial crisis.

But, the charity says, instead of making the banks pay for the bailout, the government has shifted the blame and the cost onto tax-paying citizens.

Hundreds of thousands of public servants, including nurses, doctors, teachers, police and firefighters, stand to lose their jobs in the government's assault on public services. Yet there is a ready means of funding these services through the collection of taxes dodged by corporations and their executives.

War on Want cites the £120 billion the UK loses every year in tax avoidance, evasion or simple non-payment of tax owed, while the government axes jobs in HM Revenue & Customs and closes tax offices across the country.

John Hilary, War on Want's executive director, said: “The coalition government has launched an ideological war against ordinary working people on behalf of the rich. All studies show that the cuts programme will hit the poor hardest, decimating public services and throwing hundreds of thousands out of their jobs. Now is the time for a mass movement to fight for social justice and against the coalition's savage cuts.”

War on Want is also calling for a financial transactions levy, known as a Robin Hood tax, which the charity says would raise over £20 billion in the UK alone to sustain public services and anti-poverty initiatives.

War on Want is demanding the government:

  • place a moratorium on staff cutbacks and tax office closures in HM Revenue & Customs
  • abolish British tax havens and close the tax loopholes associated with them
  • work with other countries to eradicate trade mispricing and promote transparency through country by country reporting by companies
  • prosecute corporate executives, lawyers and accountants for profit laundering and tax dodging.

NOTE TO EDITORS Demonstrators will assemble from 11.00 am this Saturday (26 March) on Victoria Embankment and form up between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges. Protestors will start to march from 12 noon for a rally in Hyde Park from 1.30 pm.

CONTACT Paul Collins, War on Want media officer
(+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728
pcollins@waronwant.org or paul.collins93@yahoo.com

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