Of the 2,051 people surveyed, 75% said that said the UK government should legislate to discourage UK companies from avoiding tax in developing countries, a study conducted by ComRes for UK charity Christian Aid revealed.
However, while 85% of respondents believed it was too easy for large companies in the UK to avoid paying tax, 61% said that the promises made by politics to tackle tax avoidance by large companies are sufficient.
Toby Quantrill, head of economic development at Christian Aid said, “It is time to stop defending the indefensible and for the UK government and the overseas territories to work together towards a sustainable alternative future for the good of everyone. We have been having the same conversation for more than four years and now it is time for action.”
The charity said it would like to see the creation of public registers of beneficial ownership in all the overseas territories, providing the same level of transparency that we already have in the UK.
“The UK government also has a responsibility to support an economic transition and so far this seems entirely missing from these discussions,” Quantrill added.
The charity said that the recent so-called Paradise Papers tax scandal have shown the time has come to discuss how overseas territories might transition away from the status quo, as many of these economies are reliant on financial secrecy and low tax.