NORWAY: Jeremy Corbyn will describe “grotesque” levels of inequality and mass tax avoidance as among the most pressing challenges faced by the world, in a speech at the UN in Geneva.
The labour leader will highlight four main threats faced by humanity: the concentration of wealth and power in a small group, exacerbated by tax avoidance; climate change; the refugee crisis, and what he will call a “bomb first, think later” approach to conflict resolution.
Corbyn will highlight the recent Paradise Papers revelations as evidence of the scale of tax avoidance, according to extracts of Friday’s speech released in advance.
“As the paradise and Panama Papers have shown, the super rich and powerful can’t be trusted to regulate themselves,” Corbyn will say. “Multinational companies must be required to undertake country by country reporting, while countries in the global south need support now to keep hold of the billions being stolen from their people.”
A labour government would actively seek to assist tax authorities in developing countries, as Norway has done in a scheme with Zambia, he will say. Corruption in poorer nations is “a global issue that requires a global response”.
He will add: “When people are kept in poverty while politicians funnel public funds into tax havens, that is corruption, and a Labour government will act decisively on tax havens, introducing strict standards of transparency for crown dependencies and overseas territories, including a public register of owners, directors, major shareholders and beneficial owners for all companies and trusts.”
More generally on the economic system, Corbyn will condemn a system “where a wealthy few control 90% of global resources; of growing insecurity and grotesque levels of inequality within and between nations”.