#PanamaPapers: Shut down shell companies, sanction the banks!
This petition had 535,329 supporters
The Panama Papers have revealed the way the global elite use secrecy to hide financial affairs. This secrecy allows rich people to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, but it also enables the financing of the criminal economy, ranging from child abuse, illegal arms deals to the channelling of funds for terrorism. When rich people or criminals hide their money from the tax man, it doesn’t just make them richer, it makes the rest of us poorer. Because what is not collected in tax is missing from governments’ coffers to finance essential services like health and education.
The leak shows how major banks have driven the creation of shell companies in tax havens. 365 banks including HSBC, RBS, and Coutts & Co, created more than 15,000 offshore companies for their wealthy clients. Banks are the accomplices of tax havens, perpetuating the injustice.
As a Member of the European Parliament, I am fighting for greater tax fairness. The 11.5m files that became available represent secret information from only one offshore law firm: Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
We need to destroy the whole iceberg! Tax evasion, offshore companies, money laundering and overseas territories must end so we can properly fund our public services, and get rid of one rule for the rich and another for everyone else. Banks haven’t learnt anything since the financial crisis and still rig the rules for their own benefits. We need to put an end to shell companies and sanction the banks dealing with them!
EU institutions to prosecute banks that let their clients hide their assets in tax havens and do not report suspected European citizens to tax authorities.
Molly Scott Cato MEP
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