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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Scotland Loses Over £3 Billion Annually Through Westminster Tax Losses

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UK has 14.2% of the world’s tax loss for 0.86% of the world’s population.

Scotland is losing over £3 billion a year in revenue from evasion and tax avoidance schemes according to research based on an analysis of global tax losses by government.

According to research by the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group concerned about tax avoidance, the UK is second only to the USA in the total amount of taxes it loses through evasion and tax avoidance at a figure of over $52 billion a year; or £38.2 billion at current exchange rates.

On a pro-rata basis, this equals £3.1 billion lost taxes for Scotland or £570 per person.

The analysis also shows that tax loss for the UK makes up 14.2% of the world’s total loss.

This compares to the UK only having 0.86% of the world’s population – making the UK’s tax loss almost 17 times its population size.

Along with UK Overseas Territories – particularly the Cayman Islands – UK and related territory tax losses account for over 36% of global tax losses.

Tory MPs have shown a particular interest in blocking attempts to ensure more tax transparency with the likes of the Cayman Islands.

Analysis provided by the House of Commons Library to the SNP earlier this year revealed that the UK’s deficit figure has vastly underperformed in comparison to all other north-west European nations throughout the 21st century – with the UK average more than four times the median.

The analysis also showed that the UK’s neighbours have also lowered debt whilst also remaining wealthier than the UK and having lower inequality.

Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) said:

“These statistics underline how Westminster isn’t working for Scotland with billions lost in tax a year.

“No wonder the UK sits at the bottom of so many economic and social league tables amongst its north west European neighbours.

“The powers to tackle avoidance and evasion for almost all taxes, including Income Tax, lie at Westminster.

“We have consistently called for greater tax transparency and stronger action from the Westminster government on avoidance and evasion but they continue to ignore Scotland.

“These figures are astronomical and the people of this country get nothing out of it with the UK having the lowest GDP per person, highest poverty rates and greatest inequality amongst its neighbours in north west Europe.

“But the Westminster government drags its heels on dealing with this situation and Tory MPs actively oppose action.

“Independence offers Scotland the opportunity to take action and ensure a fairer taxation system that benefits the people of Scotland.

“With the full powers of independence, Scotland can finally develop into a progressive, forward-thinking nation, and a nation with a taxation system that is fair for all.”

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