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16 Jun, 2013

Global poll shows huge support for policies to curb multinational tax scams


14 June 2013 (ITUC-CSI media release): Eighty-five per cent of voters in 13 countries including six G8 economies support policies to stop large and multi-national corporates avoiding tax, according to a new public opinion poll released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) ahead of the G8 Summit in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.

The UK ranked top of the G8 countries polled to measure voter support to curb tax havens and with 96% of voters in support of policies followed by 91% Germany; 88% Canada; 82% France; 75% Russia and 74% Japan.

The G8 is expected to commit to work on new global standards to tackle tax evasion when it meets for the Lough Erne Summit 17-18 June in Northern Ireland. In the Global Unions Statement released on the eve of the Summit, unions warned commitments must be backed by concrete deliverables as action taken to date is inadequate.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, said G8 members including Canada, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA are failing to comply with standards set down by the Global Forum on Tax Transparency.

“Workers are paying for the financial crisis with their jobs, while corporations are denying ailing economies the revenue they so badly need.

“The sheer scale of tax evasion revealed by one corporate tax scandal after another is matched only by the injustice to workers and their families. In developing countries, national economies are robbed of revenues which could be used to address critical needs such as food security, health, poverty alleviation and education,” said Sharan Burrow.

John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD and ITUC Chief Economist, said worldwide unemployment is forecast to rise above 200 million. Young women and men are particularly scarred by the crisis with 74 million young people under 25 unemployed globally.

“The slow down in economic activity is likely to push even more into unemployment by 2014.

“The stakes are high, as we face a financial, economic and social crisis that threatens to divide and fracture our societies. G8 leaders must act urgently to put fairness at the heart of our economies. Curbing tax havens is one lever the G8 leaders have in their hands to put fairness and equality back on the table,” said Evans.

Read the Global Union’s statement to the G8 Lough Erne Summit covering global union calls for action on taxation, transparency in the extractive sector and putting equality and fairness in trade policies

For more information on the ITUC global poll 2013 contact Gemma Swart gemma.swart@ituc-csi.org

Countries and dates of research

Between April 18, 2013 and May 1, 2013, TNS Opinion carried out the survey International Trade Union Confederation Global Poll 2013. This project covers the adult (18 years and over) populations of Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Spain, UK and the USA.


The sample in each country has been selected by quotas to reflect national proportions in terms of age, gender and region.
In each country 1000 interviews were targeted for a total of 13.015 conducted interviews. All interviews were conducted online.

Readers are reminded that survey results are estimations, the accuracy of which, everything being equal, rests upon the sample size and upon the observed percentage. With samples of about 1,000 interviews, the real percentages vary within the following confidence limits:

Observed percentages 10% or 90% 20% or 80% 30% or 70% 40% or 60% 50%
Confidence limits ± 1.9 points ± 2.5 points ± 2.7 points ± 3.0 points ± 3.1 points