Do you agree that we need tax justice? Listen to Taxcast

Do you agree that we need tax justice? Listen to Taxcast

Date: 8 February 2012

The Tax Justice Network has launched a new 15 minute monthly podcast service with the latest news, research and analysis of events in tax evasion, tax avoidance and the shadow banking system. TAXCAST producer Naomi Fowler explains why it’s so important.

Despite plain evidence to the contrary, there’s a disturbing consensus among our politicians that austerity is the only way to go. And that ‘austerity-or-broke’ agenda has been comprehensively absorbed and regurgitated by the mainstream media, with a few honourable exceptions. Since opposition to this ‘Austerity Age’ comes largely from outside the Westminster bubble, it gets the occasional brief mention and it’s framed as quirky, naive and purely anti-capitalist in nature.

I’m pretty sure research would show that the BBC rarely uses the words ‘Occupy movement’ without prefacing it with ‘anti-capitalist.’ Some in Occupy are indeed anti-capitalist but there’s also a strong body of opinion within Occupy that wants to reform a financial system that’s clearly broken and clearly corrupt. As the recent Occupy Economics Working Group article in the Financial Times shows, they have sensible, working proposals on exactly how to do that, as does the Tax Justice Network.

So, read my lips BBC. It is NOT radical to demand fairness. It is NOT radical to say we’re failing to collect £120 billion in taxes, enough for the entire NHS budget. It is NOT radical to point out that there is no need whatever for austerity measures. It is NOT radical to compare the tax return of an ordinary person with that of Tony-3%-Blair and with multi-national companies who’re twisting tax laws and in some circumstances breaking the law. It is NOT radical to point out that companies like London-based bank HSBC (being investigated under suspicion of a massive international money-laundering scheme that involves hundreds of billions of dollars) is symptomatic of a system that’s rotten through and through, a system that will continue to pull us all down if it’s not reformed by politicians who are courageous, politicians who truly represent the people.

That’s why the Taxcast is so important. There’s no mystery to why the UK is rattling at high speed towards a double-dip recession but there’s inadequate accurate, non-politicised information about the many real solutions to the problems we face. Knowledge is power and tax is very, very far from boring. It’s the life-blood of any healthy society. That’s why people are downloading and listening to the Taxcast, playing it on radio stations across the world in 30 countries and beginning to demand action from our elected representatives at last.