It seems that the recent leak of Panama papers created a wave of reactions against the frauds that are becoming a global rule for big multinational companies and super-rich individuals. In his recent high level address to the Second United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, ISWA’s President David Newman explained the linkages between huge corporate tax evasion and poor waste management. ISWA’s participation in UNEA is considered as a major step towards the global recognition of the association and it followed the the launch of the Global Waste Management Outlook at the ISWA World Congress in Antwerp last September.
In a characteristic part of his lecture, David Newman said:
“Major corporations, and the US is sadly a leader in this, avoid paying taxes in most domains using offshore accounting…The 50 largest US corporations hold $1.38 trillion in offshore accounts to avoid paying US and other taxes, an amount equal to the economy of Spain. Apple alone has $181 billion in offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes and was able to avoid paying a penny of taxes worldwide on $74 billion profits over a period 2008-2012, including developing countries desperately in need of tax incomes to finance services and save peoples’ lives…These same corporations fight against Extended Producer Responsibility to ensure correct recovery of the products they put into the marketplace, in many jurisdictions globally, including the USA. So not only do they put consumer products into markets where they then pay no taxes, they also ensure they pay nothing to recover or recycling those goods once they become waste.”
You can find more details about his speech at the recent Waste Management World article and the whole text of the speech here. I also suggest you to read the ISWA President’s blog, where David describes his impressions and the key-outputs of the event.
David Newman concluded that it is absolutely necessary to campaign vigorously in their own jurisdictions for greater probity in the enforcement of the law, to create a society where corruption does not deprive the State of resources needed to finance essential infrastructure. ISWA’s President also appealed for delegates to work on closing the tax loopholes and low tax or tax free jurisdictions like the British Virgin Isles, Panama and others, which allow massive tax evasion by major corporations and individuals.