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Monday, 16 February 2015

HSBC Tax Evasion Scandal

Press release for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in advance of it's protest over HSBC in Carlisle. The write up in the News and Star is here.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

If you’re desperately poor and get caught stealing food you’ll have your name and photo published and thrown into jail, if you’re a millionaire tax fraudster you just pay HMRC a fine of 10% of the tax due and in return get immunity from prosecution and your name remains hidden.

For five years the government has sat on proof that HSBC bank has facilitated evasion of British taxation on an industrial scale, as well as laundering money for terrorists, dictators and murderous drug cartels from Mexico and Colombia to Paris.

Yet in that time only one out of 6,000 British millionaires committing tax evasion from secret Swiss accounts has been jailed, and he was already being investigated. The Guardian mentions the example of clothing tycoon Richard Caring walking out of HSBC Geneva with a suitcase full of £2.25m in used notes. Coincidentally, he also donated £413,000 to the Tories and loaned £2m to Labour.

Why hasn’t HSBC been prosecuted? Instead of throwing the Executive Chairman, Stephen Green, into jail, David Cameron brought him into his government as Trade and Investment Minister! Then the head of HMRC took a new job with...HSBC!

The problem isn’t individual corruption, the entire economic and political system is criminally corrupt. The establishment parties are beholden to their super-rich backers and run the state in their interests, not ours. Tax avoidance is facilitated by government legislation like the notorious non-dom status. The wealthy and big business are allowed to get away with £120bn tax fiddles every year – a sum which dwarfs the budget deficit used as the excuse for austerity for the rest of us.

TUSC demands the nationalisation of the banks – not under the control of the old boys’ network as at RBS and Lloyds, but under the democratic control of ordinary bank staff and the public to ensure transparency and accountability.

Tax havens under British jurisdiction should be closed down and all hidden foreign bank accounts should be confiscated the way the police seize money from the proceeds of crime. TUSC Carlisle invites the public to join a protest outside HSBC bank in English St, Carlisle, this Saturday at 11am, with a stall, leaflets and petition – placards and banners welcome. This will be followed up by a public meeting at 7pm on Monday in

Club Britannia, Lowther St.

Brent Kennedy

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