SIGN THE PETITION: PNG Government Investigate Tax Evasion by Logging Industry & Cancel Illegal Land Leases
The Panama Papers have helped expose how politicians, criminals and corporations around the world hide their cash and avoid taxes. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), foreign owned logging companies are profiteering, using some of the same tricks.
PNG is now the world’s largest exporter of tropical timber, but the Oakland Institute recently revealed that most logging companies are not paying corporate tax.
Meanwhile the government is slashing spending on vital services, including health and education, because it is faced with a financial crisis.
We are calling on the PNG Treasurer to launch an immediate investigation into the logging industry and its tax record - but we need your help!
Research by the Oakland Institute has exposed how most logging companies declare losses year after year, allowing them to avoid paying a 30% tax on their profits. This deprives PNG of hundreds of millions of dollars in much needed revenue.
It is clearly illogical for a company to stay in business if it makes loses year after year, but not only do these companies remain in business they are actually expanding their logging operations.
In total, more than one-third of PNG is subject to some form of logging company control. In recent years, new areas of forest have been opened up using a mechanism called Special Agriculture and Business Leases (SABLs). A Commission of Inquiry into these land deals found most of the leases are unlawful, but, despite three years of promises, the government has not cancelled any of them.
All over the country, local communities are being deprived of their resources while their government turns a blind eye to the deceptive practices of the forest industry and repression by police force that often works on behalf of logging companies.
Now there is substantial evidence of tax evasion and financial misreporting.
Please call on the PNG Treasurer to investigate financial reporting by the logging industry. Take action now and write to the Treasurer.