Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson contacts George Osborne c

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has received hundreds of correspondence from constituents raising concerns about the impact of tax avoidance on developing countries.

 

Hundreds of people from Sefton Central have written to MP Bill Esterson calling on him to urge Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to close tax avoidance loopholes.

Sefton Central constituents from Formby, Crosby, Maghull and Aintree have written to the Labour MP as part of a Christian Aid and ActionAid campaign.

In their correspondence to Bill, campaigners write: "There is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Yet one in eight people still go to bed hungry every night. Over two-million children die from malnutrition every year. The 2013 budget should be a turning point. The world's poorest people will benefit hugely from the UK meeting its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI (Gross National Income) on development aid.

"Yet unlocking developing countries' futures is not about aid alone. Taxes are the most important, sustainable and predictable source of finance for developing country governments. The problem is that some unscrupulous businesses and individuals manage to avoid paying the taxes they owe to these countries. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) estimates that developing countries lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year.

"It doesn't have to be like this. Developing countries will benefit if multinational businesses have to spill the beans on their tax practices overseas. The UK budget should make it easier to ensure that developing nations can raise their own revenues to ensure that developing nations can raise their own revenues to invest in tackling hunger and food insecurity in their countries."

Bill said he fully supported the campaigners' aims.

Bill said: "Far too many big companies avoid paying their fair share of taxes both here in the UK and abroad. This is a practice which needs to be clamped down on.

"Tax avoidance is a multi-billion pound problem.

"The Sefton Central constituents who have written to me rightly point out that this type of irresponsible business practice is continuing to consign millions of people in developing countries to starvation and early graves.

"Developing countries rely on taxation. When large corporations avoid paying their taxes, then the poorest in those countries suffer.

"That's why I have written to George Osborne to call on him to ensure that British multinationals do pay their taxes to developing countries in which they do business.

"I have also called on him to take steps to clampdown on tax avoidance in this country which estimates put in excess of £69.9bn a year. If we can claw back that money, then that will obviously ease the Tory-Lib Dem Government's zealousness for cuts.

"But are the Tories and Lib Dems going to be keen to start targeting their rich friends to finally pay their way, or are they going to continue targeting the poorest?

"That is the change of focus I am campaigning for, both in this country, and for developing countries around the world."