Ethical accounting, Brexit crisis and threats to public health services: August 2019 Tax Justice Network podcast

In this month’s August 2019 Taxcast, ethics and accountancy – yes they can go together!

Plus: as Britain sinks into full crisis-mode over Brexit, we bring you unique analysis on some of the far-reaching consequences for the world, including threats to public health service models. And, why does the new British government love Freeports so much when they’ve been condemned as centres for money laundering and tax evasion?

Featuring: Professor Atul Shah of City University in London (author of books on Jainism and Ethical Finance, about the largest corporate failure ever in British history the HBOS collapse and on ‘Reinventing Accounting and Finance Education’. Also John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.

Produced and presented by the Tax Justice Network’s Naomi Fowler.

Accounting was taught in a sort of a technical way, almost in an a-cultural way. Relationships, culture, and even ethics and values do not really matter. It’s all about being technically competent and being very good at tax avoidance and profit maximisation… However…we should not close our eyes to the huge transformation that is going on in society. There is a new dawn which is happening, you know, like the 13 year old marching against climate change…resistance is coming from the old guard, from the traditionals. And business schools, if they don’t change, if they don’t innovate, they will find their market drops like anything and then where will they go searching for students and professors? So there is a tremendous change going on and we need to tune in to that change and to the demands from young people for an ethical financing.”

~ Professor Atul Shah

Britain’s National Health Service is…one of the largest purchasers of pharmaceutical products in the world. And that makes it a very powerful economic actor on the global stage…many of the most predatory, private health sector companies are US insurance businesses or health service providers, and of course pharmaceutical companies, they are pushing very, very hard to have access to the UK market and to break up the National Health Service and this is almost certainly going to be one of the key issues around which trade negotiations between Johnson’s government in Britain and Trump’s government in the United States are going to be focusing attention”

~ John Christensen, Tax Justice Network