Rebecca Taylor, Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, has welcomed agreement this week on new EU rules to tackle corruption.
Now large oil, gas, diamond and logging companies will have to disclose full information on their payments to governments for all projects over €100,000 (around £85,000). Many developing countries are rich in natural resources, but local populations have been kept in the dark about how much money has been generated for government coffers and have struggled to get a fair share used to fund public services.
The new rules come in the wake of a hugely popular campaign organised by Tearfund, a leading relief and development charity. Lib Dem MEPs were contacted by thousands of constituents expressing their concern on this issue.
Rebecca Taylor said,
“This is a victory for all those who agree that large multinational companies and governments have a responsibility to be transparent in their dealings with each other. It is clear there are many people here in the UK who recognise how important this is.
“These new rules are a step in the right direction, helping in the fight against corruption, particularly in developing countries. When local communities can find out how much money has been raised from the exploitation of natural resources, they can push hard to ensure the money goes where it should – on vital public services such as health and education.
“We must now strive to achieve a global standard for all sectors, not just those agreed this week. Local communities must be able to find out how much a company has paid their government and fight for a fair share of profits and taxes.”