On 2nd November 2020 Lord Harries of Pentregarth asked the Government “what steps they are taking in their discussions relating to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting 2.0 Project to prioritise a fairer settlement for those less economically developed countries who lose income as a result of tax avoidance by multinational corporations”. The Bishop of Winchester asked a question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester [V]: My Lords, I underline what the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Harries, has brought into focus. The loss of corporate tax—about 3% from high-income economies compared with 9% for low-income ones—further exacerbates the impact of coronavirus on trade and tourism. For example, sub-Saharan Africa currently faces its first recession in 25 years, with up to 14 million people driven into extreme poverty. Can the Minister assure the House that Her Majesty’s Government will urgently offer the OECD technical support in the form of revenue analysis along with support for legislative and policy measures so that countries that wish to implement unilateral tax reforms will have the wherewithal and advice to do so in the best way?
Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester asks about tax avoidance by corporations in less developed countries”
On the 3rd April 2017, the House of Lords considered the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill in Committee. Baroness Stern moved an amendment requiring public registers of beneficial ownership of companies in the Overseas Territories. The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Rev Donald Allister, spoke in favour of the amendment, which was withdrawn after the debate
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, I support the amendment. I also support the Bill and I am grateful for it.
I particularly support and follow a point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Stern, about this being a moral issue. I refer to Amendment 167. This time last year, shortly after the publication of the Panama Papers, there was a question in the House about this issue. I asked a supplementary and was assured by the then Minister that this was seen by the Government as a moral issue. It is important that we hold to that. Continue reading “Criminal Finances Bill: Bishop of Peterborough supports amendment on tax transparency”
On 9th March 2017 the House of Lords debated the Government’s Criminal Finances Bill at its Second Reading. The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate, supporting the Bill and calling for action on tax transparency in UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies.
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I join other noble Lords in thanking the Government for introducing this Bill. I support it. The Government have led on tackling corruption since the then Prime Minister set the issue of tax transparency at the heart of his G8 summit in 2013. He should also be thanked for hosting the anti-corruption summit in May last year. The Bill follows this good record and takes some further welcome steps to try to tackle corruption. The unexplained wealth orders will provide stronger powers for UK law enforcement to seize and repatriate the proceeds of grand corruption. The new corporate offences of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion should be particularly praised because they will apply all over the world. I hope that in due course these offences will apply to all economic crime. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford welcomes Criminal Finances Bill, calls for further action on tax transparency in UK overseas territories”
On 20th April 2016 Lord Wallace of Saltaire asked Her Majesty’s Government “what further discussions they have had with Overseas Territories since last year’s Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council about moves towards greater transparency of beneficial ownership for companies registered within their jurisdiction, in the light of the United Kingdom’s chairmanship of the International Anticorruption Summit in May 2016.” The Bishop of Peterborough, Rt Revd Donald Allister, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, while I acknowledge the good work done by the Government recently on this, does the Minister agree that public transparency is important not only in the fight against corruption but as a very significant moral issue? Does she agree that it is the duty of all Governments, including those of overseas territories, to work towards public transparency? Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough – Government has moral duty to ensure public transparency over offshore tax arrangements”
On 2nd December 2014, the Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, spoke during the Second Reading debate of the Government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill. In his remarks, the bishop highlighted a number of examples of churches and cathedrals working local businesses for the common good of the community. He strongly welcomed the Bill, particularly noting the inclusion of measures to introduce a Register of Persons with Significant Control. However, he also highlighted a number of ways in which the Register could be strengthened, and called on the Government to review the proposed legislation.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, like others I welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Harding, and look forward to hearing her maiden speech when I sit down.
I warmly welcome the Bill. Small businesses and local enterprise are part of the life-blood of communities and play a major part in enhancing the life opportunities of many people. Granted, there are areas where the Bill could go further, but every initiative to support small businesses is to be welcomed. Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough highlights collaboration between churches and local enterprise in Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill debate”
On 15th July 2013 the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, received answers to written questions on the topics of graduate entrepreneurs and tax transparency.
Businesses: Graduate Entrepreneurs
The Lord Bishop of Derby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what resources are available for graduate entrepreneurs for start-up businesses.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie): We want more businesses to develop in the UK in order to drive economic growth and innovation. We are intervening early to drive ambition by encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset in young people through activities in schools, colleges and universities. The experience of enterprise through education helps give young people the knowledge and awareness of what it means to run a business.
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can also help to bridge the gap into the world of business. For example, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) provides £160m per annum through Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) to English HEIs to enable them to work with businesses and others. This can also be used to support student and academic enterprise, including start-ups and spin-outs. The latest Higher Education-Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI) indentified that, in 2011/12, 2,359 graduate start-ups were generated from English HEIs and 2,315 Graduate start ups were still active after at least three years. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby – Graduate Entrepreneurs and Tax Transparency”