By Anya Lewis-Meeks
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Although most of the world has come to accept the former, a recent UK scandal involving 1600 people, including celebrities, businessmen, doctors and other high-profile personnel, aren’t paying their fair share of taxes.
The Times revealed that the tax avoidance scheme called Liberty tax strategy attempted to shelter £1.2 billion from being taxed. As Jubilee USA’s graphic above shows, £1.2 billion could pay the salaries of 22000 doctors, 61000 schoolteachers or 63000 policemen. Although the Daily Mail purports that the Liberty scheme itself is ‘legal,’ a global call to action must arise to ensure that loopholes in the financial system that can be exploited by such tax avoidance schemes are eliminated. The taxes that are lost through these loopholes prevent public services from being provided to the poor and are part of a larger cycle of tax avoidance, immorality and the perpetuation of extreme poverty.