Tax evasion and bank secrecy to occupy G-8

Tax evasion and bank secrecy to occupy G-8

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Tax evasion and banking secrecy, hot topics and top targets because of the financial crises and austerity, could be the focus of strong statements at the G-8 meeting this week.

The British government, organising the meeting in Northern Ireland, has promised big developments on the basis of substantial progress recently in clamping down on evasion and bursting bank secrecy.

But many observers from civic bodies are pessimistic and say that the summit today and tomorrow will amount to a lost opportunity despite the public outrage over recent brazen cases at a time of tax rises and budget cuts. The tightening up of tax systems across borders, and opening up information on how businesses do their accounting across borders, are two of the burning issues for Britain which is currently chairing the G8 (Group of Eight) leading countries.

The G-8 comprises the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Britain, Italy and Russia. British Prime Minister David Cameron has prepared the way for the summit of heads and state and government by stating the “ambition” that the meeting at Lough Erne will “knock down the walls of banking secrecy” with “concrete measures”.

The G-8 leaders are expected to make strong statements calling for a “truly global system of multinational information exchange”, according to a draft final statement. But concrete measures appear unlikely.

In Northern Ireland, the G-8 leaders will also support an action plan to be put forward soon by the OECD.