The world is awash with money; trillions hidden offshore
It seems the world is awash with money, even though most governments are facing economic pressures. Trillions are being hidden away by a very few global super elite in offshore bank accounts, avoiding billions in taxes such that constrained governments turn to austerity and other measures, inflicting more hardship on people who are typically already victims of the global financial crisis. Furthermore, it turns out that many of the banks we have all bailed out help with these offshore practices in various ways.
Tax avoidance by the super rich results in lost revenues in the order of hundreds of billions a year, which would (in theory at least) benefit most of society. But if you can afford an army of ingenious lawyers and accountants, it seems you can play by a different set of rules.
Recent high profile cases of companies and individuals avoiding taxes in recent years has resulted in governments claiming they will address this issue thoroughly. But that is as far as it seems to go.
This update includes additional figures and examples of recent tax avoidance issues that have come to light.