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I don’t always write about every exaggerated or misunderstood figure on multinational tax avoidance that I see. I didn’t write about the Honest Accounts report , but I did send a note (see below) to its authors Mark Curtis and Tim Jones at Jubilee Debt Campaign and to Nick Dearden at Global Justice Now to let them know that they had misunderstood and therefore misrepresented the estimates of illicit financial flows it used. The problem is that it is not just Mark, Tim and Nick who should understand why their interpretation was misleading .
As with the yesterday’s Guardian article, the misunderstandings get picked up and repeated.
And now I feel bad because I should have explained the issues more publicly and clearly at the time, and not allowed the great big arrows to be left lying around, for others to trip over.
So at the risk of being repetitive, here is the problem with ‘Honest Accounts’ interpretation of illicit financial flows: Negotiating natural resource contracts, developing fiscal regimes and ensuring that taxes are collected fairly are real challenges for resource-rich developing countries.
The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge invested tens of millions offshore.
Madonna, Bono, Shakira and Nicole Kidman are amongst the celebrity names, while Harvey Weinstein, Martha Stewart, people connected to Donald Trump are handy villains.
In the UK, Margaret Hodge called an emergency debate in Parliament and argued that “.
Furthermore, it has published tax principles which commit the company to ‘paying tax where value is created’.
If we are to move beyond this familiar cycle of criticism and rebuttal towards clearer debate, we need to take both sides of the argument seriously. This statement is not true, but it is a reasonable summary of what a report called ‘Honest Accounts‘, which was published last month, says.
Following the series of stories emerging from the ‘Paradise Papers’ has been like unpacking a Christmas stocking.
While each individual item may be underwhelming in itself, the overall effect is designed to be thrilling.