[QODLink]
Europe

G7 nations agree to tackle tax evasion

Finance ministers meeting in UK say collective action is needed to ensure firms and individuals pay the tax they owe.

Last Modified: 12 May 2013 02:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Finance ministers and central bank governors met for two days in Aylesbury, outside London [Reuters]

The G7 group of industrialised nations have agreed that collective action is needed to ensure that firms and individuals pay the tax they owe.

Finance ministers meeting outside London pledged their commitment to combating tax evasion, which is illegal, and tax avoidance, which occurs when individuals and companies take advantage of legal loopholes.

"It is vital that both developed and developing countries collect the tax that is due to them," George Osborne, the British finance minister, said on Saturday.

Britain has made the issue a priority of its presidencies of the G7 and G8.  

The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. The G8 is the G7 plus Russia.

The G7 also reaffirmed its commitment to reforming financial regulation.

"It is important to complete swiftly our work to ensure that no banks are too big to fail," Osborne said.

"We must put regimes in place ... to deal with failing banks and to protect taxpayers and to do so in a globally consistent manner."

The emergency rescue of Cyprus after a near meltdown in March served as a reminder of the need to finish an overhaul of the banking sector, five years after the world financial crisis began.

Austerity vs growth

The G7 ministers also appeared to smooth over US-European differences on how to balance deep austerity measures with ways to support fragile growth.

The US has put pressure on European nations to scale back their spending cuts amid fears they may harm growth, but Osborne said the meeting revealed much common ground.

"This meeting confirmed there are more areas of agreement between us on fiscal policy than is commonly assumed," he told reporters.

He said the G7 had "discussed the importance of having in place credible, country-specific, medium-term fiscal consolidation plans for ensuring sustainable public finances and sustainable growth".

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici appeared to echo Osborne's remarks.

"The consensus is gaining momentum in the way we balance support for growth and fiscal consolidation," he said.

"There is still a real will to reduce the deficits but certainly there is a change of tone" among G7 members."

351

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list