City of London

The City of London is at the centre of the global web of tax havens that are aiding and abetting the theft of vast sums of money from the public around the world

The City of London is at the centre of the global web of tax havens that are aiding and abetting the theft of vast sums of money from the public around the world. More than half of the ‘secrecy jurisdictions’ identified by the Tax Justice Network have supply chain links to the UK. Crown Dependencies like Jersey and British Overseas Territories like the Cayman and British Virgin Islands rely on the City of London – on its permissive legal structures, tax rules and, crucially, its reputation for stability – for a large part of their business.

The best available evidence puts the total amount hidden from tax authorities around the world at at least £13 trillion. Among those who lose out are some of the poorest countries on earth. It’s been estimated that for every US dollar given in foreign aid, developing countries lose ten through illicit financial outflows. This money should be contributing to essential public services: to roads, schools and hospitals.

What happens in London does not stay in London; it has a real impact global levels of inequality and poverty. Right now, the City of London is on the side of tax thieves. In ways large and small, the City greases the wheels of tax theft globally, and makes a lot of its money from doing so.

We partnered with the Tax Justice Network , The City Reform Group , UK Uncut and Occupy London.
Overnight on March 11th, 66 billboards sprung up all over London, and Londoners woke up to find their city called out as the Tax Haven Capital of the World. The campaign featured in the Guardian and the promotional video spreading around the Internet like wildfire. Over 20,000 people around the world signed onto our open statement. We took a full-page ad in Saturday’s Guardian with the open statement. Day of Action, which saw hundreds of members and friends of /The Rules, UK Uncut and Occupy London gathering outside Royal Exchange, the financial heart of the City, in a powerful demonstration of support for tax justice.

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We’re all part of a global story. Each of us, one of seven billion characters with a part to play in a plot that tells us ‘money makes the world go round’, it’s the ‘survival of the fittest’ and ‘growth is good’. It’s also story that tells us that being poor is unlucky and that the money that goes to the top of the chain will trickle down eventually.

But together we’re beginning to challenge the old story. We’re asking questions about our world – how is poverty created? Why is growth the only answer and who’s developing who? Because if we ask the BIG QUESTIONS about poverty, we can expose its root causes and get real answers about how to eradicate it. We’re writing a new story - one that changes the rules for a world that works for all. What about joining in?

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