Britain’s ‘Treasure Islands’ for the super rich – while it’s super austerity for the workers, the poor and the youth!

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THE ‘Panama papers’ leak of 11 million documents shows that the rich and infamous worldwide, including heads of state, are avoiding taxation while the workers and the poor have had vicious ‘austerity programmes’ imposed on them.

The Mossack Fonseca papers have already touched off riots and revolutionary demonstrations by workers all over the world – who had been told by their ultra-cynical ‘masters’: ‘we are all in it together’. Thousands of people have gathered in Iceland’s capital calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson after the leaks exposed his secret wealth.

The Ukraine is erupting with the release of the papers which show that their President Poroshenko, the chocolate billionaire, has secreted away billions of dollars in Panama. Likewise in Russia, angry workers are demanding the expropriation of the oligarchs and the restoration of the USSR, after the revelation of the secret accounts of right wing oligarchs who currently give their support to President Putin.

In the UK, steel workers and many other sections such as junior doctors are facing savage attacks on their jobs and their futures, while many others, especially the disabled and the youth, are facing savage cuts and homelessness.

These sections and others are boiling with anger at the other world that the Panama leaks show, one where the rich pay no taxes at all while they are launching the most savage attacks at home on the working class and the poor.

The leaked papers show that PM Cameron’s late father Ian Cameron used one of the most secretive tools of the offshore trade after he helped set up a fund for investors. Downing Street said yesterday that whether the Cameron family still had funds in offshore investments was a ‘private matter’.

This evasive reply has been taken to be as good as confirmation that it has. Cameron and his sidekick Osborne are the drivers of the UK austerity programme, of the attack on the junior doctors, and the refusal to nationalise the steel industry to save tens of thousands of jobs – as well as being the authors of the bogus line that: ‘we are all in it together.’

In fact, the UK is at the centre of the offshore empires. The massive data leak from Mossack Fonseca shows it registered more than 100,000 secret firms in the British Virgin Islands. Britain, in fact, rules over a whole series of ‘Treasure Islands’ – offshore dependencies ranging from Jersey to the Caribbean islands – which the rich use to hide away their cash, while making the poor suffer.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, an international human rights lawyer, said yesterday: ‘The British Empire has shrunk largely to a number of tax havens – Treasure Islands as they are known. Britain is at the heart – the hub – of international tax avoidance by allowing these little remnants of empire to have tax secrecy laws and enable offshore trusts and offshore companies to operate without transparency. These little countries are endowed by international law with sovereignty. They can set up their own regimes which promise utter secrecy and have no transparency.’

A Tax Justice Network press release said: ‘Successive governments have made small noises about tackling tax avoidance and evasion while in reality doing nothing concrete to deal with the problem of evasion, avoidance or tax havens. The Privy Council in London could close down tax havens in the territories the UK is responsible for but it chooses not to do so.

‘The money flowing out of the system in billions to tax havens is more than the national budget deficit. It is an ideological choice of the government and the ruling elite to maintain the ability of corporations and rich individuals alike to hide their money and avoid contributing to the societies they live or work in.’

It is obvious that such a capitalist society deserves to perish – that its continued existence is a threat to every working class and middle class man, woman and child on the planet. Workers and youth must unite to make the TUC call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and socialism, that will put an end to capitalism and its ‘Treasure Islands’.

Make sure you lobby the next meeting of the TUC General Council on Thursday April 27th!