Cameron pledges tax crackdown while UK is host of G8

DAVID Cameron today said he will put tax evasion at the heart of this year’s G8 summit and demand the world’s largest economies “galvanise collective international action” to tackle abuse of the taxation system.

In a letter sent to leaders of the G8 group of wealthy countries, the Prime Minister said he would use Britain’s year-long presidency of the global economic forum to push for greater co-operation between governments and ensure those who seek to evade tax are punished.

“We can lead the way in sharing the information to tackle abuses of the system,” Cameron said. “And we can examine the case for strengthening those standards themselves.”

His stance is the latest sign that tax evasion has become a major political issue across the world following a spate of examples involving multinational companies, such as Starbucks or Amazon in the UK, paying minimal levels of tax.

The UK last hosted the summit in 2005 during Tony Blair’s leadership, when discussion focused on the Make Poverty History campaign to reform aid payments.

In a dig at this event, Cameron insisted 2013’s meeting “will not be the kind of summit where we simply whip out a chequebook at the 11th hour, pledge some money and call it a success.”

Instead he wants member nations, including the US, Germany and Japan, to spend more time helping developing countries with the “building blocks” of economic growth, rather than traditional aid projects. Cameron also wants the large nations to help “stamp out” corruption in developing countries.

On improving trade relationships, Cameron says there is a huge amount on the table – including a possible deal between the EU and Canada, the opening of negotiations between the EU and Japan, and Russia deepening its integration into the global trading system.