As published on thenational.scot, Monday 21 February, 2022.
SCOTLAND is losing more than £3 billion a year in revenue from evasion and tax avoidance schemes according to research based on analysis of global tax losses.
According to research by the Tax Justice Network, an advocacy group concerned about tax avoidance, the UK is second only to the USA in the total amount of taxes it loses through evasion and tax avoidance at a figure of over $52 billion a year; or £38.2 billion at current exchange rates. On a pro-rata basis, this equals £3.1 billion lost taxes for Scotland or £570 per person.
The analysis also shows that tax loss for the UK makes up 14.2% of the world’s total loss. This compares to the UK only having 0.86% of the world’s population – making the UK’s tax loss almost 17 times its population size.
Alison Thewliss MP, the SNP’s shadow chancellor, said: “These statistics underline how Westminster isn’t working for Scotland with billions lost in tax a year.
“Independence offers Scotland the opportunity to take action and ensure a fairer taxation system that benefits the people of Scotland.”
Along with UK Overseas Territories, particularly the Cayman Islands, UK and related territory tax losses account for over 36% of global tax losses. Tory MPs have shown a particular interest in blocking attempts to ensure more tax transparency with the likes of the Cayman Islands.
Analysis provided by the House of Commons Library to the SNP earlier this year revealed that the UK averaged more than four times the deficit median in comparison to all other north-west European nations throughout the 21st century. The analysis showed that the UK’s neighbours have also lowered debt whilst also remaining wealthier and having lower inequality.