IF response: G8 tax agreement & G8 presidency

Responding to today's G8 agreement on tax, Sally Copley, Enough Food For Everyone IF spokesperson, said: "Today’s G8 tax deal is a step in the right direction, but it also leaves major unfinished business.

"Although the G8 has set out the right ambition on information exchange, poor countries battling hunger can’t afford to wait to be included.

"It’s progress that more tax authorities will know who owns phantom firms so they can crackdown on them, but a summit focussed on transparency can’t justify keeping this information secret.

"The public argument for a crackdown on tax dodging has been won, but the political battle remains. Future G8s and G20s must urgently finish the job.”

The test of this year’s G8 summit was whether they agreed to an ambitious plan to tackle tax dodging that could benefit all countries. Specifically, they had to agree to shine a light on phantom firms and support a new standard on tax information exchange from which all can benefit.

  • The commitment to create new mechanisms to exchange information for the benefit of poor and rich alike is the right ambition, but we need a clear timeline.
  • On beneficial ownership, the UK is ahead of the rest of the G8 - but even it falls short of what is needed.

IF campaign's verdict on G8 Presidency

Looking at the period of the UK G8 presidency overall, Sol Oyuela, spokesperson for the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, said:

“The IF campaign has helped put tackling hunger and the issues that drive it – like malnutrition, tax dodging and land grabs – at the centre of the G8 agenda. We’ve made real progress thanks to the millions of people who have supported the campaign, but there remains lots of unfinished business. The UK presidency deserves credit for putting the right issues on the agenda and making progress in many areas. We urge them to follow up on this unfinished business to help end the scandal of 1 in 8 people going hungry."

 

On malnutrition:

The Nutrition for Growth event, which took place on Saturday 8 June, pledged an additional $4.1 billion to tackle nutrition. Brendan Cox, spokesperson for the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, said:

“This was a turning point in tackling what is the biggest killer of children worldwide. If the promises are delivered, they could save the lives of almost two million children – an historic breakthrough in the fight against hunger. We now need to ensure that donors stump up the cash as quickly as possible. Hungry children can’t wait.”

 

On UK tax havens:

At the trade, tax and transparency summit on Saturday 15 June, David Cameron announced that all Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories were ready to sign the Multilateral Convention on Tax Matters. Jenny Ricks, spokesperson for the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, said:

“David Cameron cleared a big obstacle to a clampdown on tax dodging by getting Britain’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to sign up to share information with more countries.

“This will help developing countries access more information and retain more of the money they are owed. Follow up is needed to ensure they also address the issue of beneficial ownership.”

 

On land:

Sally Copley, spokesperson for the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, said:

“We’re pleased that land grabs were firmly put on the G8 agenda for the first time. The partnerships agreed shows that progress is possible to prevent land grabs that leave poor people hungry.

“But far more is needed, and the G8 needs to show it will really get to grips with the problem by regulating G8-based companies involved in land deals, and leading more ambitious global efforts to tackle land grabs.”

 

On agriculture:

Sol Oyuela, spokesperson for the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign, said: 

“The G8 missed an opportunity to boost public investment in the small farmers that feed a third of the world’s population.

“The expansion of the New Alliance is not the answer to decades of declining aid to agriculture. It urgently needs to reform further and faster to ensure it helps small-scale farmers, particularly women, and respects land rights.”