Local MP Tessa is supporting calls from international campaigning organisation, Global Witness for a public register of company owners and an end to ‘shell’ companies to aid the fight against poverty.
‘Shell’ companies are opaque corporate structures that can hide true company ownership. Many resource-rich countries in Africa are deprived of billions of dollars of vital revenue as profits from exports are siphoned off by these companies. Tessa’s campaign with Global Witness for greater transparency has been echoed by the Prime Minister and it is hoped this will be a priority for the G8 summit in Northern Ireland currently taking place.
Tessa said: “It is shameful that shell companies are allowed to operate with such disregard for regulation. I fully support this register and hope the Prime Minister gives it his full backing this week. This is not about extending red tape but about giving all people a level playing field on which to conduct business globally.”
The idea of a publicly available business register was one of the first notions Tessa took to the Business Secretary, Vince Cable upon becoming his Parliamentary Private Secretary in 2012. It has been a long term campaign of hers to ensure business is conducted in an open and transparent manner; lifting the veil of secrecy around company ownership and ensuring firms can be held to account by citizens, journalists and civil society – as well as law enforcement bodies. In turn this would help keep vital revenue within poverty stricken communities.
18th June 2013
Global Witness: www.globalwitness.org/