July 31, 2012
As global financial crisis is getting even deeper, tax havens remain intact from any regulatory or monitoring mechanism that could control excessive and undeclared deposit flows.
Only in 2010 top-ranked billionaires exploited deep-rooted deficiencies of several national fiscal systems and transfered over $ 21 trillions in tax heavens from Switzerland to Vanuatu. According to certain estimations, this amount can also reach $ 32 trillions, an amount which is by far higher than the entire GDP of the United States.
Tax evasion to off-shore companies deeply concern the NGO Tax Justice Network which recently published a report regarding capital outflows destined to tax heavens. Nonetheless, the so-called “off-shore economy” is increased to such an extent that is inevitable to escape debates over the relationship between inequality and wealth, between public debt and public income, but mainly it has a much direct side-effect over the tax payers around the world.
Another interesting fact is that in many cases the amount sent in tax heaven accounts surpasses the current public debt of the countries of origin of many billionaires. A striking case is that of Nigeria, an oil-rich country where since the 1970s over $ 300 billions have been trasmitted elsewhere. In Greece for instance, only in 2011 over 1 billion euro has been concealed in foreign accounts registered by some 731 Greek citizens.
Furthemore, capital outflows and tax evasion are considered as two of the most crucial issues that since 1970 have been consistently neglected both by internationa regulatory institutions and by the G2os that are said to supposedly gather notion, expertise and wealth to bring about global developments and pioneering breakthroughs. Therefore, I am coming to the following thoughts:
1. What would it be for instance if a global tax of 30% would be imposed to these $ 21 trillions yearly helping overdebted countries and countries in desperate humanitarian need to stand in their feet and reboot their economies?
2. How hard would it be to to initiate a Solidarity Project funded privately and controlled by an independently-elected group of experteers to run over the project in a long-term basis?
Taking into consideration that the amount of capital outflows in relationship with public debt is much higher in Third World and developing countries, emphasis should be primarly given to Africa, Middle East, Central and South Pacific Asia. Nevertheless, in terms of market growth and development, the problem is equally rampant in countries like Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and a couple of EU candidate member-states like Turkey and Serbia.
Finally, in terms of overdebtedness and growth forecasting, Greece is amongst the most affected countries in the European Union and Eurozone with no planning for fiscal reform and with pressures over more lending to increase.
All things considered, tax heavens are apparently affecting every possible economy that shows constant flunctuations and deep divergence in regional and global level. The problem is amounting and we actually still prefer observing it rather than facing it and dealing with it.Dimitris Rapidis