UN panel says corruption hits the poor hardest

Vastavam Web: A U.N. panel says tax abuse, corruption and money laundering are draining hundreds of billions of dollars from governments that could help the world’s poor.

A report from the high-level panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity published Thursday said governments can’t agree on the problem or the solution. But they’re also losing an estimated 500 billion due to corporate tax avoidance from profit-sharing enterprises.

Corruption and tax avoidance are rampant, said former Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite, a panel co-chair. Too many banks are in cahoots and too many governments are stuck in the past. We’re all being robbed, especially the world’s poor. She said trust in the finance system is essential to tackle global challenges including poverty, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead we get dithering and delay bordering on complicity, Grybauskaite said. The report said criminals exploited the COVID-19 pandemic as governments relaxed controls to speed up health care and social protection.