Molly Scott Cato MEP, Green Party speaker on economics and finance, has responded to the so called Panama Papers – around eleven million documents held by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which reveal how the company has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions and evade tax. Molly said:
“What becomes clear from the revelations contained in the Panama Papers is that it is the UK that is at the centre of the global network of tax havens that facilitates tax avoidance and crime. More than half the companies listed in the documents are registered in British-administered tax havens or the UK itself. This is deeply embarrassing for us as a country and reveals as entirely hollow the Chancellor’s claim to be cracking down on tax avoidance.
“If we are to restore our national pride we must see steps taken immediately to deal with the nefarious relationships between apparently respectable companies based in The City and their dubious associates in the Crown dependencies and overseas territories. We need to end the convenient anachronism of such jurisdictions: either they should become a part of the United Kingdom and subject to our laws or they should acquire independence. In addition we need to put an end to shell companies and ensure much greater transparency on beneficial ownership.”