The people hardest hit by the kinds of shadowy financial transactions mapped out in the recently leaked Panama Papers may never even know it.
As revelations emerge from the enormous cache of documents about how the rich and powerful conceal and protect their wealth in offshore tax havens, some of the politicians named in them have scrambled to deny wrongdoing. Yet between the lines of the Panama Papers’ 11.5 million files are the untold others — the unnamed victims who suffer daily as a result of these diverted funds. They are citizens of developing nations who, thanks to the massive sums — estimates range from $213 billion to $1.1 trillion in a single year — that these countries lose annually to tax avoidance and evasion, are deprived of critical funding for education, healthcare, infrastructure and other fundamental needs, analysts say.
“Those governments just can’t collect enough tax, because their systems are so exposed to abuse from tax havens,” said Richard Murphy, a professor of practice in international political economy at City University London. “They can’t provide healthcare, they can’t provide education, they can’t provide investment in infrastructure,” he added. Ultimately, their citizens pay a hefty price…
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