Corruption breeds in the dark and withers under the glare of public scrutiny. As a result, we believe that the most powerful tools to combat corruption are publicly accessible registers of beneficial ownership of corporations. These registers ensure that the true owners of corporations are known to public institutions, media and citizens.
The 26-year-old isn't making headlines this week for her activism.
A security guard sit outside the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama City, Sunday, April 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco
Crony capitalists are 14% poorer than two years ago.
The Panama Papers provide further evidence of the scale of global tax dodging, and of its impact on poverty and inequality, particularly in the global south. Tax havens are estimated to be costing poor countries at least $170bn in lost tax revenues every year. This is essential money which could be paying for schools, hospitals, childcare or services to address violence against women. The realization of women's rights is not going to be achieved for free. UN Women have analyzed country action plans on gender equality and found that some are facing a shortfall of up to 90 per cent in the funds needed to achieve their goals
Offshore accounts cost U.S. government $111 billion a year.
It is hard to know exactly how much money is hidden in tax havens or passed through elaborate BEPS schemes, but some estimates range from $21 trillion to $32 trillion U.S. Rather than throwing in the towel, governments could make an earnest effort to tighten their domestic regulations and continue to pursue multilateral initiatives aimed at combating tax evasion.
Journalists involved in Panama Papers leak will post all online in May.
Is it collusion, corruption or just plain incompetence? That answer will likely play out over time if there is a public demand for accountability. In the meantime, Canadians need a plan to make sure that our leaders understand what we have known for a while -- the tax system is neither fair nor doing an adequate job.
The fact that the world's wealthiest people use overseas tax shelters to avoid paying taxes isn't new, or surprising. It has yet to be determined whether the tax avoidance schemes revealed as part of the Panama Papers leak will be found to be criminal. And audacious though it may seem, all of the implicated parties in this scandal may very well get away with it. Here's how.