Tax is as inevitable as birth and death, but much less exciting to hear about – right? Wrong, according to Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK, and Professor at City University, London. Author of The Joy of Tax, and characterised by the Guardian as an “anti-poverty campaigner”, Richard believes passionately that ordinary people need to understand and defend themselves against the world’s tax systems that have been devised almost entirely to benefit moneyed interests and help them become even more wealthy at the expense of ‘the rest of us’.
On 26 April, he will be asking Imagineers to consider: Can tax be made fair? A very pertinent question given revelations about the machinations of the tech giants as well as some of our favourite coffee shops.
Since graduating in Economics and Accountancy, Richard has founded his own London accountancy firm; held various board level roles at over ten small businesses; and become increasingly involved in economic and taxation policy issues. He set up the Tax Justice Network and now spends much of his time working on advocacy and research for aid agencies, unions, NGOs and others in the UK and abroad. His work and ideas about international tax and its avoidance have informed thinking at the EU and OECD, and he has also advised the TUC and the Green New Deal, amongst others.
If we can’t avoid tax, can we really use it as a tool for equality or are we doomed to pay up only if we are the ‘small fry’ while the big fish swim away offshore?