Letter to the Chancellor: Do not give bailouts to tax haven businesses


I signed, along with MPs from the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and Labour, a letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling on him to prevent economic support going to big businesses who are registered in tax havens.

The letter also calls on the Chancellor to put restrictions on “excessive executive pay”.

The letter reads in full:

Dear Chancellor,

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced governments across the world to make economic interventions scarcely imaginable just months ago. Here in the UK, you have repeatedly said that we are “all in this together”.

We write because we are concerned that on the current trajectory, this is far from being true.

Before the virus hit, working people had suffered a decade of cuts to public services and stagnating wages, and more than 14 million people were living in poverty. This crisis risks seriously exacerbating these inequalities.

This is why it is vital that economic measures are introduced to protect everyone’s livelihoods, to ensure that those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share, and to require that companies in receipt of state bailouts share in the collective effort.

It would be wrong, for example, to bailout tax dodgers like billionaire Richard Branson, or for public money to go to companies that continue to pay millions to executives or shareholders.

We therefore urge you to condition emergency state support for big businesses as follows:

  • They must not be registered in tax havens.
  • They must implement a moratorium on dividend payouts and share buybacks.
  • They must curb excessive executive pay.

Countries such as Denmark and France have implemented measures similar to these.

If the government does not also act, we do not believe it can truly say we are “all in this together”.

We look forward to hearing from you.