In response to the release of the Tax Working Group’s interim report, Oxfam New Zealand’s executive director Rachael Le Mesurier said:
“While the interim report has a lot of positive recommendations, there is no mention of making multinational corporations publish key financial information from each country they operate in. This is essential for countries to be able to assess exactly how much revenue governments may be losing to tax avoidance, including here in New Zealand.
“Oxfam research shows that not only is New Zealand likely to be losing an estimated $21m each year to tax avoidance, but developing countries across the world are also losing out on crucial revenue that should go towards building schools, bridges and hospitals.
“We need accurate figures showing how much tax is being paid, or not, by multinationals that are not headquartered in New Zealand. This is not possible until key financial information is required to be publicly available, country by country.
“We support the recommendations that the IRD’s investigatory capacity continue to be invested in, and that more information be placed into the public realm. But to fix the broken global taxation model, governments like New Zealand must step up and demand greater transparency from multinational corporations.
“It is encouraging to see so many people care about a fair system – thousands of people made submissions to the Tax Working Group, including many Oxfam supporters. It is only through increased tax transparency and availability of information to the wider public that more people will be able to engage in the important and ongoing conversation about tax.”