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Tax Avoidance Is Running Through the Veins of Westminster - But What's the Cure?

22/04/2016 13:46

It has now been well over a week since the Panama Papers leak and there are still so many unanswered questions. Despite questions from the SNP we are still unaware of who in the cabinet benefits or has benefitted from using tax havens. Members of the Cabinet are responsible for making tax laws, it is imperative we find out how many members are implicated. While Iceland's prime minister was forced to resign, our prime minister, David Cameron, mislead the public.

The initial statement to come out of Number 10 that this was a 'private matter' was quickly replaced with 'he will never benefit from tax avoidance' before finally being pushed to admit that he had indeed owned shares in his father's business Blairmore Holdings.

The documents also reveal the names of six members of the House of Lords, several of whom have been donors to the Conservative Party. Tax avoidance has been shown to be running through the veins of Westminster.

This is at a time where the Conservative Government are demonising the poorest in our society. Cutting disability benefit, imposing the bedroom tax and slowly privatising our vital public services such as the NHS.

The Trussell Trust has released figures showing that the number three-day emergency food parcels needed in Scotland has risen by 13% in the last year. More than 130,000 people relied on these parcels to eat, a damning indictment of the Conservative Government in Westminster.

Questions put forward by the SNP's Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP this week shone a bright light on the Tory agenda. Cameron couldn't hide from the figures showing 3,000 members of staff in the Department for Work and Pensions were investigating benefit fraud while just 300 HMRC staff were investigating tax evasion of the 'super rich'.

Our current government has ten times more staff, more man power, more resources and more time invested in demonising the poor and most needing in our society, whilst the super-rich use the UK as a playground for tax evasion.

If you need them you are entitled to claim benefits, they should be provided by the government to help. To elevate people from poverty, to give people an extra boost when we need it and to ensure that everyone starts their life on an even playing field.

Our own Prime Minister has publicly embarrassed us on a world stage. By directly benefitting from this money he has shown the establishment to be a system that serves to perpetuate the class structures present in our society. Ensuring a future for Etonians while making sure it is the poorest who pay for it.

We cannot let Panama Papers become yesterday's news, it is important that we continue to ask questions and hold our Government to account. We must continue to shine a bright light on the people responsible for making laws in this country and as the gap between rich and poor continues to grow we must continue to ask why? To understand just how far this issue extends we must have full disclosure on this issue, we can start with who in the cabinet has benefited from tax avoidance schemes.

This post first appeared on www.ronniecowan.com

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