The Panama Papers have exposed an unprecedented network of offshore tax havens and shell companies for the world's super-rich and mega-powerful. Should SumOfUs dive in and take it on?
The Panama Papers, 11.5 million files leaked from the world’s fourth-largest offshore law firm, exposes the father of British PM David Cameron as a tax avoider, reveals a $2-billion trail to Vladmir Putin and earned its first casualty this week when Iceland’s Prime Minister resigned after the leak showed he and his wife were hiding assets in the Virgin Islands. Is there a word big enough in English for this leak? We’re not sure.
All we can think about is the billions -- billions! -- of lost tax revenue floating out there in Cyprus, the Bahamas and Switzerland. Billions that should be funding schools, hospitals, social services and public infrastructure. We’ve been fighting corporate tax avoidance for years, so we knew it was huge -- but the Panama Papers show us we had no idea exactly how colossal a problem it was.
But it’s a big, big ask. So we want to know, should SumOfUs use the Panama Papers to dive into campaign against the world’s wealthiest tax avoiders?
Look, we know what we're getting into if we take this on. We've got loads of big ideas on how we can use this unprecedented leak to pressure the world's wealthiest and most powerful corporations to clean up their act and start paying their fair share. But it's going to take everything we've got. We're ready to go. Should we pull the trigger?
Thanks for taking the time to weigh in. We don't take this lightly.