Rupa takes the Government to task...
Last Tuesday Rupa made her debut appearance at the dispatch box taking the Government to task for its failure to tackle tax evasion. (See here for video http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/19249e8d-d508-45cd-9b6b-0330e902f178?in=17:33:26 and here for the transcript https://goo.gl/lAHNSI).
In her first appearance for the front bench Rupa cut the Government no slack by slamming them for their deliberate failure to tackle the issue of the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies refusing to adopt public registers of beneficial ownership.
In a blistering remark which touched the nerves of the Government and garnered the attention of the BBC, Rupa said the UK, including its overseas territories and Crown dependencies, is "the most secretive tax jurisdiction in the world. And that is not a record to be proud of" (http://bbc.in/2fdqmyz).
However the final knockout came when she stated:
“We need to get away from the idea that not paying tax, whether by avoidance or evasion, is a victimless crime. Countries in the developing world lose three times as much to tax havens through illicit funds and re-laundering than they gain in aid. It adds up to a trillion pounds a year and we are pumping aid into these places at the same time—it makes no sense. Given our straitened circumstances, we should be justifying every pound spent, but HMRC estimates the tax gap to be £36 billion, including £5.2 billion owed to our Exchequer from tax evasion... For that £5.2 billion, we could get 42,000 full-time doctors or 54,054 nurses a year”.
After letting the Government know that the Bill ticked some boxes, Rupa swiftly informed them that on their report card it was most definitely a case of “progress made but can and must do better”.