We always knew that the super rich hide much of their money away, but that still does not detract from the horrifying revelations of this leak. I fear we live in a faux democracy; a society that has all the appearance of a nation that treats everyone the same, but under that veneer is an ideologically driven system, assembled to benefit those who already have it all. It remains to be seen what information will emerge if/when Cameron publishes his tax returns. But for the public, I suspect the damage is already done.
These tax havens are often used for money laundering the gains of other criminal activities. Tax evasion and wider criminal activity all too often go hand in hand. But whilst it may be getting harder to hide wealth, the jolting truth from the latest revelations is that it is evidently still not hard enough.
The sins of Cameron's dad are not his fault. True, but the Government are no strangers to damning the children of people who they think aren't doing their bit for society. Barnardo's, the Child Poverty Action Group and many others have all said that the Conservative Welfare and Work Bill will make poor children poorer. Policies such as only paying tax credits to the first two children in a family directly penalise children for the decisions of their parents. So In Tory Britain poor kids are paying the price for the actions of their parents but David Cameron doesn't have to?
While the world tolerates tax havens, they are frequently the lowest cost way of conducting business and so they continue to grow. They have reached the point where any tax or fund adviser in London who did not recommend them to their wealthy clients would soon be out of business as the competition would have a better product.
Public register is perhaps too much to ask, but the pressure should be on the introduction of the global private register accessible for the international law enforcement authorities, if we really want to fight corruption. Those countries and territories that refuse to implement the register should face sanctions.
Britain's refusal to shut its tax havens also makes possible tax avoidance by global corporations and global leaders. This is a stitch up. Meaningful reform of the tax system in the interest of the public is being prevented due to the interests of the world's rich and powerful, who are making a killing. Those literally being killed from this cosy deal are the world's poor. An estimated 1,000 children die each day across the developing world because illicit and untaxed income is spirited away from developed countries into tax havens.