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'Yes we can-Cannes!' say Christian Aid campaigners

October 6 2011 - On Friday 7th October, campaigners around the world will hold a Global Day of Action to urge G20 leaders to end the tax haven secrecy that helps companies to hide their profits and avoid paying taxes in developing countries.

Next week, G20 Finance Ministers will meet to set the agenda for the G20 leaders’ meeting in Cannes in November.

To draw attention to the fact that together we can end tax haven secrecy, campaigners from the End Tax Haven Secrecy coalition are 'can-Cannes' dancing in London.

Other events taking place around the world as part of this campaign include flash mob dances across France and handing in letters on embassy 'tours' in Ireland and Guatemala.

End Tax Haven Secrecy is a global campaign involving 56 organisations in more than 20 countries. Their collective aim is to end tax haven secrecy for the benefit of people living in poverty around the world.

The coalition is calling for changes in the way that companies are required to report their accounts, to ensure that multinational companies publish the taxes they pay and the profits they make in each country where they work.

End Tax Haven Secrecy is also campaigning for the introduction of automatic exchange of information between countries.

Together, these two reforms would help developing countries to collect the taxes they are owed, giving them more revenue to spend on essential services such as hospitals and schools.

Christian Aid estimates that poor countries lose $160 billion a year to tax dodging by unscrupulous multinational companies.  This huge sum is more than they receive in aid from rich countries each year.

Alasdair Roxburgh, Economic Justice Campaign Officer at Christian Aid, said: 'G20 nations must act now to challenge this injustice by agreeing on measures to stop tax haven secrecy. We hope the Global Day of Action will help to put pressure on the G20 Finance Ministers ahead of their meeting and ensure that this issue is firmly on the agenda when G20 leaders meet in Cannes in November.'

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If you would like further information please contact Claire Meeghan on 020 7523 2318 or cmmeghan@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950.  

Notes to Editors:

1. The End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign was launched at the WSF in Dakar in February 2011. In the UK, member organisations are Christian Aid, Action Aid, Tax Justice Network, Global Witness, Bond and Oxfam International.

2. The campaign website is www.endtaxhavensecrecy.org . The petition is available in six languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and German.

3. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

4. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

5. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

6. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

7. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk