Niall Cooper: Calling time on tax dodgers
“Is it realistic to dream of an economy that services everyone, irrespective of wealth?”
If I asked you to share your hope and vision for 2020, what would it be? A land flowing with milk and honey? A shimmering city set on a hill? These may have worked for the prophets, but what can we realistically hope for in a divided and fallen world?
As we have been reminded in recent weeks, the global economy often appears to lack a moral dimension. HSBC’s apparent willingness to encourage multi-millionaires in illegal tax dodging is just the latest in a long line of ethically dubious actions by banks and other global corporations. While it has generated great wealth for some, it has also created growing inequality.
As Oxfam reminded the World Economic Forum in January, the richest 1% of the world’s population is on track to have amassed more wealth than the remaining 99% in just two years’ time: “Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite. These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance, and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further.” …
Niall Cooper is director of Church Action on Poverty and public affairs adviser to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Read more on the topics discussed in this column at www.churcheselection.org.uk and http://taxdodgingbill.org.uk
This is an extract from the March 2015 edition of Reform.