98 FTSE firms 'use tax havens'
Published 11/10/2011 | 00:12
Most of the UK's top companies listed on the Stock Exchange use tax havens, according to new research.
ActionAid said that 98 of the FTSE 100 companies have declared tax haven companies.
The charity is calling on the Government to crack down on tax havens, saying they "can't afford to turn a blind eye".
Chris Jordan, tax justice expert at ActionAid, said: "ActionAid's research showing the use of tax havens by Britain's biggest companies raises serious questions they need to answer.
"Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid."
ActionAid said there were 1,649 tax haven companies declared between the UK's "big four" banks. The only two companies not to use tax havens were Fresnillo and Hargreaves Lansdown, ActionAid said.
Mr Jordan added: "When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries are left to pick up the bill.
"Spending on doctors, nurses and other essential services gets cut for those who need it most.
"Tax havens might provide the lure of financial secrecy and low tax rates for big companies, but at a time when all countries are desperate for revenues, the UK Government can't afford to turn a blind eye."