At least 14 trillion euro (USD 18.5 trillion) is hidden by wealthy individuals in tax havens worldwide, the international confederation Oxfam revealed Wednesday For governments across the world this represents a loss of more than 120 billion euro (USD 156 billion) in tax revenue, said Oxfam in a statement coincided with a meeting of EU leaders discussing tax fraud in Europe.
"EU leaders meeting today must agree on an immediate action to crack down tax dodging, but they need to start by putting their own house in order, the statement stressed.
Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam's EU Office, said "it is scandalous that our governments are allowing so much money to sit untaxed, letting off the hook those individuals who can most afford to pay for public goods and services." Tax havens in the EU or under its jurisdiction such as Luxembourg, Andorra or Malta, are facilitating the loss of over 80 billion euro (USD 100 billion) in tax revenues worldwide.
"Of this USD 100 billion, the UK and its dependencies alone account for more than half this amount, making it by far the biggest culprit among EU countries, but by no means the only one," it said.
"European leaders have absolutely no excuse not to act when you see what proportion of this money is stashed right under their noses in tax havens for which they are responsible," said Alonso.
"Unless the EU agrees a public tax havens blacklist and clear countermeasures, we won't get much more than hot air from leaders," added Alonso. Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.
It works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.