RISE - Scotland's Left Alliance has called on the Scottish Government to establish a system of penalties for tax dodgers and to increase resources to Revenue Scotland for a crackdown on elite tax avoidance and evasion in light of the Panama Papers leak, which has exposed a global network of elite tax avoidance.

With the establishment of Scotland's own tax agency, Revenue Scotland, which has a limited remit to tackle avoidance and fraud (1), RISE is calling on the Scottish Government to step up efforts to crack down on wealthy Scottish tax avoiders.

RISE is calling for:

  • A new system of penalties for those found to be avoiding taxes by Revenue Scotland, a proposal supported by tax expert Richard Murphy (2).
  • The establishment of a special anti-tax avoidance squad within Revenue Scotland specifically focused on tax avoidance and evasion among the richest one per cent.
  • An end to 'one rule for them and another for us' politics and renewed commitment to fairness and equality. Tax policy should be based on economic justice, not whether it will encourage the super rich to avoid paying their fair shares of taxes.

Cat Boyd, lead candidate for RISE in Glasgow, said: 

"The Panama Papers have shown beyond doubt that the UK is a world leader in and enabler of elite tax avoidance. The question is whether we in Scotland are any different.

 "The people of Scotland don't want politicians to pander to the super rich. A crack down by the newly established Revenue Scotland on elite tax avoidance would be highly popular as well as just. 

"RISE is calling for the Scottish Government to do the right thing: end 'one rule for them, another for us' politics, make the super rich abide by the same laws as ordinary Scottish people, and improve tax collection resources to ensure that the richest one per cent pay their fair share north of the border."

(1) http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Bills/Revenue%20Scotland%20and%20Tax%20Powers%20Bill/b43bs4-aspassed.pdf
(2) http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/08/26/scotland-has-a-general-anti-avoidance-rule/