Corporate tax dodging costs Zambia $3 billion a year

21 October 2015 - 12:00am
Press release

Zambia is losing $3 billion a year from corporate tax dodging according to a new report launched by War on Want. The sum is equivalent to nearly twice Zambia’s spending on health and education.

‘Extracting Minerals, extracting Wealth: How Zambia is losing $3 billion a year from corporate tax dodging ’, examines the Zambian operations of Glencore, Vedanta and Associated British Foods – companies based in the UK or listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The report focuses on the complex corporate structures and mispricing that robs Zambia of revenue that could fund essential public services. It highlights how the ability of companies to get away with tax dodging depends on the willingness of governments around the world to allow them to do it.

Owen Espley, Economic Justice Campaigner at War on Want, said:

“This is a staggering sum of money to lose. In a country where 74% of the population live on less than $1.25 a day, this scale of tax dodging is depriving the Zambian people of revenue that could fund vital healthcare, public services and anti-poverty programmes.”

Public outcry over lost tax revenues led to Zambian government attempts in 2014 to address how mining companies avoided tax. These attempts were powerfully opposed by mining corporations, who threatened to cut thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment.

“While ordinary Zambians are being stripped of their wealth and power, the actions of the UK government continue to undermine Zambia’s attempts to collect tax revenues.

“George Osborne must abolish the UK network of tax havens and investigate the UK companies at the heart of this global extortion racket that is depriving Zambia of schools and hospitals.

“Global tax rules need rewriting, but this cannot be left to a rich nation’s club like the OECD. Developing countries must have an equal seat at the table, and until they do we will continue to see global corporations abusing their power and robbing nations of their wealth.”

 

Notes to editors

For further information and interviews, contact Ross Hemingway +44 7983 550 728

‘Extracting Minerals, extracting Wealth: How Zambia is losing $3 billion a year from corporate tax dodging’ is endorsed by unions PCS and NIPSA.

You can download a copy of the report here: http://www.waronwant.org/sites/default/files/WarOnWant_ZambiaTaxReport_web.pdf

The report has been produced with the assistance of the European Union – DCI-NSAED/2011/247. The contents are the sole responsibility of War on Want and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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