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Concerns about secret TTIP agreement

by
10 October 2014

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From Mr Chris Ryecart

Sir, - At a time when multinational companies control half the world's wealth, some even controlling more than the annual gross domestic product of some of the world's poorest countries, it is high time that they were held to account and made to pay their fair share of tax contributions.

Judging from your article "Trade deal would be a threat to our democracy" (Comment, 3 October), it is hardly surprising that the part of the TTIP under negotiation which is causing most controversy is "a proposal to allow big companies to sue governments over decisions that may affect their profits", when clearly it would be more appropriate now for governments to be able to sue the multinationals for tax avoidance on a massive scale.

It has been reliably estimated that if multinationals were taxed on their profits like ordinary mortals, instead of siphoning them off into secret offshore accounts, the taxes generated would amount to about $12 trillion annually: enough to wipe poverty off the face of the earth, and fund all the relief operations required by global catastrophes.

Before any TTIP agreement is reached, let the United States and the European Union reach an agreement on the the ways and means of closing down all tax havens and loopholes the world over that prevent multinationals' paying their fair share of taxes; and of setting up a mechanism whereby their 25-per-cent standard taxes are annually transferred into a UN International Poverty and Aid Relief Fund.

CHRIS RYECART
Weinberg 4, Kefermarkt 4292
Upper Austria, Austria

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