Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister David Cameron called for global action of tax avoidance.
Mr Cameron said that tax avoidance was an issue “whose time had come.”
He emphasized that in these uncertain economic times, “trade tax and transparency” would be the UKs economic priorities.
With a swipe at coffee retailer Starbucks, which has recently been caught in a high profile UK tax avoidance scandal, Cameron said that those who try to dodge tax must “wake up and smell the coffee.”
The Prime Minister called for collaboration between global governments to crack down on tax avoidance.
“Acting alone has its limits. Clamp down in one country and the travelling caravan of lawyers, accountants and financial gurus just moves on elsewhere. So we need to act together at the G8,” he said.
His statements came the day after he stated his intent to renegotiate Britain’s position within the EU and promised a referendum on exiting the union in 2017.
A story released yesterday by The Daily Telegraph shows that many large firms have concerns over the kind of tax information new transparency campaigns will force them to share.
Out of 52 FTSE 100 firms who responded to a survey 32 opposed the prospect of raising tax disclosure requirements.
Business lobbying organisation the CBI was generally positive about the Prime Minster’s intentions but encouraged nations to consider improving the compeitiveness of their tax systems rather than simply beginning a tax avoidance with hunt.
Director general, John Cridland said that the CBI “does not condone highly abusive avoidance schemes which serve no commercial purpose other than the minimisation of tax, even if they are legal.”
But tempered “In some cases the tax system is lagging behind commercial reality, particularly around the taxation of the digital economy and transfer pricing.”
Mr Cridland hoped this campaign to reduce tax avoidance would “change the rules where appropriate, so that they are fit for the global business age.”