Paradise Papers:‘one set of rules for the many and another for the few’

Labour leadership contender Richard Leonard MSP has attacked the revelations of tax avoidance and evasion in the Paradise Papers as ‘one set of rules for the many and another for the few.’ 

Richard Leonard said:

“The scale of the tax scandal contained in the Paradise Papers is massive and unacceptable, a damaging stain on our society that shows there is one set of rules for the many and another for the few. Our society is deeply divided, poverty and inequality is rife: with the richest one per cent in Scotland today owning more personal wealth than the whole of the bottom fifty per cent.

“I strongly welcome the demand for a public inquiry into tax avoidance and evasion proposed by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell today. Every penny of tax evaded is money that could be used to pay for our public services and to raise investment in our economy.”

The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has today set out the need a full public inquiry into tax avoidance and evasion, on and offshore, a register of companies and trusts, and who benefits from them, and a new tax enforcement unit in HMRC and an end to public contracts for companies abusing the system. Labour is also looking at a withholding tax where individuals or companies are involved in abusing the system and end public contracts for companies engaged in abusive tax avoidance.

In Living Wage week, Mr Leonard reiterated his commitment to a new policy for public procurement that would ensure not only that Fair Tax Mark accredited businesses would be awarded public contracts, but also those meeting high standards such as paying the Living Wage. 

Richard Leonard said:

“I will ensure a values-led public procurement strategy, only awarding public contracts to organisations that meet minimum standards. We will award public contracts only to organisations that meet standards like no blacklisters, no zero hours contracts, Fair Tax Mark holders, with commitments to apprenticeships, pay ratios, tackling occupational segregation, paying at least the Minimum Wage and trade union recognition."

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Promoted by Danielle Rowley on behalf of Richard Leonard, both at 180 Hope Street, Glasgow, G2 2UE