Conference to end tax dodging

By Melissa Robertson

The Scotland Malawi Partnership Conference  held  on Wednesday the 7th of October announced that billions of dollars were lost to developing nations as a result international tax dodging. Christian Aid and the Scotland Malawi Partnership have joined forces to raise awareness of the devistating affects of cooporate companies who dodge their taxes each year.The conference was held in Edinburgh City Chambers.

The Christian Aid report 2009 states that “The estimated $ 160bn a year lost to developing countries . . . could save the lives of 350,000 children under the age of 5 each year”. It also states that “Tax is the most sustainable source of revenue for developing countries”.

The Scottish government has committed £13m to support five main countries in Africa including Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Sudan over the next three years. Alex Cobham, Head of Policy for Christian aid claims that although it is a good effort by the government outweigh the loss of funding to the developing countries  through taxes.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell (courtesy of http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk)

MSP Jack McConnell reiterated the deep history that Scotland and Malawi have. He firmly declared that “Scotland had a wider responsibility than just promoting our own wealth and development.” and that “there had to be a moral purpose to our international relationships too”.

McConnell urged the different organizations represented to stand out against injustice and that ordinary people working together are capable to do extraordinary things.