Hundreds of billions of dollars every year governments around the world are losing. How? The answer is – tax havens. The Price We Pay – this is probably the newest documentary on modern capitalism’s one of the cornerstones – tax havens, through which multinational companies can dodge or avoid paying tax. No one likes paying tax, one could argue, but equally, tax is one of the cornerstones of the social contract between the state and its citizens.
Moreover, as in this recent interview the director of this documentary Harold Crook puts it, tax havens contribute to increasing inequality, social unrest and disconnection of politics from the society which it is supposed to serve.
in case you are among those, who wonder how the London’s properties have become so unaffordable to buy and if you wonder why in developing countries governments struggle to provide the basic public services to their citizens, here is one of the answers. Apparently, 2.25 sq miles of London property or in other words – 36,342 London properties – are held by hidden companies registered in offshore havens.
Find our more here.
Next time I will pass a Lush shop I will buy a bar of soap there as my reverence for growing the pool of companies which pay their fair share of tax. Fair tax mark is the new fair trade. It is a label for good taxpayers and it recognises and accredits businesses which do not practice tax avoidance or dodging. In light of the current HSBC scandal, companies like Lush win without doubt. In this brief video Mark from Lush explains why he thinks it is better to be transparent, straightforward and avoid ‘scheming’. I think, it is inspiring and gives hope that thinks can change and be changed.
To recognize the World Day of Social Justice which was on 20 February, I watched this great documentary produced by Robert Reich, renowned US economist who has advised several US presidents and governments. Though this documentary is focusing on USA, it brings into light the danger of inequality anywhere; danger to people, to living standards, to democracy. In the film Mr Reich suggests to address the challenges of inequality through:
- middle-out economy (opposed to trickle-down economy which is a pure myth),
- investment in education (if anything, education can be a Troyan horse to reduce inequality);
- putting the people first;
- strict policy on tax justice and stopping tax breaks to ensure fair contribution by the rich to the society (higher concentration of money in fewer hands creates power and ability to influence politics and democratic processes).
He is calling for bigger social change which should should be triggered by society. Complacency won’t work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NdDupITDv8
This BBC documentary The Super-rich and Us (demonstrated in early January 2015) is probably the best film so far to shed some light on the ill-famous ‘1%’ and their lives. That 1% who caused global financial crisis in 2008 and who are living better than ever. UK has the highest number of millionaires per capita, yet it is also one of the most unequal developed countries, therefore this film asks – how come?
This film is about the myth of trickle-down effect, pro-rich tax regime (UK as the most important tax haven in the world and opportunities for innovative tax avoidance), corruption (HMRC helping companies to avoid or reduce tax), inequality, Thatcher’s ideological heritage, justice, and last but not least – democracy.