Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, today signed up to ActionAid UK’s campaign for fair taxation, starting with a fairer UK-Malawi treaty.

Mr Thompson met with ActionAid at a Westminster event to discuss ActionAid’s campaign and add his support to the campaign. He is pictured with Chisomo Bullah from Malawi, who is assisting ActionAid with their work.

ActionAid recently launched its new campaign, calling for the UK to offer to negotiate a fairer tax treaty with Malawi. This treaty was signed in 1955, while Malawi was under British colonial rule, and limits the ability of the Government of Malawi to collect tax revenues from UK firms operating there.

ActionAid’s campaign argues that a fairer and more just treaty would help bring in tax revenue that Malawi desperately needs for hospitals, schools and other vital public services.

Commenting, Owen Thompson MP said:

“I am happy to lend my support to ActionAid and to Malawi, a country which has historically been a great friend and supporter of Scotland.

“Tax avoidance is a major issue in the UK, but we forget that the UK’s tax practices play a huge role in shaping the global tax system. IMF research shows that it is costing developing countries US$200billion per year, more than they receive in foreign aid.

“It is clear that the UK must modernise its tax treaties to reflect modern economies, starting with its treaty with Malawi. UK companies which operate in Malawi must pay their fair share of tax there.”

ActionAid’s website can be found at http://www.actionaid.org.uk/