SNP CALL FOR URGENT STATEMENT FROM OSBORNE
SNP Deputy Leader and Economy spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP has called on Chancellor George Osborne to make an urgent statement on the continuing fall-out from the publication of the Panama papers and what he is doing to end the abuses outlined.
The millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca revealing details of how the rich hide their wealth from the taxman is undoubtedly one of the largest data breaches ever – but given that Mossack Fonseca is only the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services, this leak is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to rooting out tax evasion and avoidance.
Stewart Hosie commented,
“George Osborne must explain to parliament at the earliest opportunity what actions the UK government is taking.
The potential loss of revenue to HMRC and the UK is vast – it is impossible to tell just how much is slipping through the Treasury’s hands.
The scale of revelations in the Panama papers is breath-taking. It is of real concern that this is just one of many operators offering similar services – and this is just in one so-called ‘tax haven’. We could be looking at astronomical amounts of cash.
It is vital we get a statement from George Osborne about what he has done so far – and what his plans are to end these totally indefensible practices.”
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP added,
“The documents show that a number of wealthy UK residents have made use of offshore accounts in Panama to avoid paying their fair share of UK tax. This is scandalous, and my SNP colleagues and I have called on the Chancellor George Osborne to come before Parliament to outline what action he will take to end these totally indefensible practices.
It is critical that the UK play a bigger role in supporting international efforts on tax avoidance, not least of all to address the role of crown dependencies and overseas territories of the UK. The Prime Minister is due to host an anti-corruption summit in May, and he must take that opportunity to fulfil the promise he made three years ago to clamp down on tax evasion and to publish details of UK-based companies that have advantageous tax arrangements in the UK’s overseas territories. Thus far, he has failed to deliver on that promise.”