The ICIJ has today revealed the biggest offshore leak since the Panama Papers in 2016. The Pandora Papers document 14 offshore professional service providers, and the way in which a mass of politicians, public officials and celebrities have utilised the offshore system to hide the true value of their wealth, and in some cases pay less tax than they owe.
Reacting to the leaks, Alex Cobham, chief executive at the Tax Justice Network, said:
“The Pandora Papers confirms our global tax system has been turned into an ATM for the rich and powerful, be they drug traffickers, pop idols or the very politicians we trusted with our taxes. We commend the ICIJ for their brave and invaluable work.
“Every year, the world loses $427 billion in tax to tax havens – that’s a nurse’s yearly salary lost every second to the world’s wealthiest multinational corporations and individuals. We know how much we’re losing because the Panama Papers forced governments to adopt tax transparency but we don’t know who’s doing the tax abusing because our governments stopped short of full transparency. The biggest blockers to transparency are the US, which the Pandora Papers confirms is the world’s biggest peddler of financial secrecy, and the UK, the leader of the world’s biggest tax haven network. We need full transparency so we can hold tax abusers accountable, especially when our politicians are among them.
“A global tax system reprogrammed to prioritise the needs and wellbeing of people over the desires of the wealthiest can be our most powerful tool for tackling inequality, guaranteeing people’s human rights and protecting our democracies from the unchecked influence of the superrich. The first move towards a fairer global tax system is to take rule-setting out of the hands of a small club of rich OECD countries, where it has sat for decades, and into the daylight of inclusive democracy at the UN.”
“US President Biden must match his own rhetoric on shutting down global illicit finance, and start with the biggest offender – his own country.”
Contact the press team: media [@] taxjustice [.] net
Notes to Editor:
- Explore the ICIJ’s Pandora Papers investigation here.
- Read the Tax Justice Network’s blog on the Pandora Papers here.