Paradise Papers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:39 pm on 6th November 2017.

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Photo of Stewart Hosie Stewart Hosie Scottish National Party, Dundee East 3:39 pm, 6th November 2017

It may well be that sheltering from our tax authorities sums of money greater than the GDP of many countries is not illegal, but does the Minister agree that that is precisely the problem? Does he also agree that the Paradise papers revelations, and the massive sums involved, now offer no hiding place for those who would deny a public register of beneficial ownership of funds and trusts, as well as businesses?

This tax avoidance is a driver of global inequality that runs to the very top of business, politics, entertainment and the establishment, in many countries, but these papers also shine a light on the hidden ownership of large corporations by foreign state institutions and individuals. To allow the public, customers and small investors to know who is really behind the most trusted of brands, will the Government now throw their weight behind not just local but global transparency on the beneficial ownership of businesses through offshore trusts, funds, and other opaque devices?