Over 20 NGOs write to the UK Prime Minister calling for the UK to support the UN Tax Convention

22 UK NGOs have sent a letter to the Prime Minister calling on the UK government to reconsider its position on the UN Tax Convention. The letter – sent ahead of the first meeting of the UN committee (which includes all UN member states including the UK) that will draft the terms of reference for the convention from 20-22 February – calls for the UK to support the negotiation of the UN framework convention on international tax cooperation.

The letter has been co-ordinated by Tax Justice Network, Tax Justice UK and Bond, the UK network for over 350 organisations working in international development. Signatories include, Oxfam, CAFOD, Greenpeace, Global Justice Now, The Bretton Woods Project and many more.

The letter aims to apply pressure on the government and any future UK government to advocate for a fairer global tax system and rebuild the trust of lower-income countries.

The letter recognises that,

“Revenue losses due to the cross-border tax abuse of multinational companies and of wealthy individuals with offshore assets are estimated to amount to US$480 billion each year globally. High-income countries including the UK lose the greatest amounts in absolute terms. Yet, the losses make up a much higher share of current tax revenues for lower-income countries, which on average are estimated to suffer losses equivalent to almost half of their public health budgets (49%). For the UK, recovering these losses would allow an increase in the NHS budget of around 20%.”

Romilly Greenhill, CEO of Bond said:  

For too long international tax rules have been determined by an exclusive group of high-income countries. By supporting the UN Tax Convention, the current and any future UK government can demonstrate its commitment to a fairer, more transparent and integrated global tax system, rebuild trust with low-income countries and re-establish the UK’s global reputation as a responsible partner.

Alex Cobham, Chief Executive of Tax Justice Network said:  

The UK is one of the countries that lose most revenue because of the failures of the OECD’s international tax rules. That undermines the scope for government to deliver effective public services, including the NHS. And the UK is also deeply responsible for losses suffered by other countries. Supporting an ambitious UN Tax Convention is just basic sense for any UK government that’s not set on damaging the country or its reputation further.


Notes for editors

  • Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 350 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice. 
  • For further information or interviews please contact Jess Salter at [email protected] or call 07493200979.