(Knitted caps adorn fruit smoothies at the World Economic Forum in Davos)
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in response to a question about whether the “enormous moral and public pressure to pay more tax” would discourage investment in the UK”, the UK Prime Minister called for more multilateral deals on automatic information exchange, including with developing counties:
“The fact is, the poorer the nation, the more they need tax revenues, but often the weaker the capacity they have to collect them. But we must not let them off the hook – it can be done.
He also added a sound bite on transparency by remarking that:
“we’re going to push for more transparency on who owns companies, on who’s buying up land and for what purpose, on how governments spend their money, on how gas, oil and mining companies operate, and on who is hiding stolen assets and how we recover and return them.”
The well worn anti-tax avoidance refrain also featured in his commentary.
He reminded us that it was:
“corrosive of the public trust” when businesses weren’t seen to be paying tax, and that businesses who think they can continue to dodge their “fair share” of tax “need to wake up and smell the coffee because the public who buy from them have had enough.” He added that: “After years of abuse, people across the planet are rightly calling for more action, and most importantly, there is gathering political will to actually do something about it.”
What will be the expression of this “gathering political will”…