Tax evasion does not, of course, whatever Ritchie says, cost the world anything. We are still a closed system. That less money goes to governments does not mean that that money ceases to exist. It still gets spent or invested somewhere or other. Indeed, dependent upon what happens to that money, and how badly the government that didn’t get it would have spent it, tax evasion could, conceivably, result in an improvement in the human condition. But even leaving aside such an extreme (for example, someone takes the loot from tax evasion and invests it in a malaria vaccine, as opposed to the British Government which would have used £10 billion to build an NHS computer system that does nothing at all) it’s still true that tax evasion does not mean a loss for the world. Only a different distribution of the cash.
The “Richie” he refers to is Richard Murphy, a self-styled campaigner against offshore financial centres, state-supporting socialist and champion of a fascistic-sounding concept, the “courageous state”.
One of his standard lines is attacking firms for obeying the letter of the law by registering in low-tax locations, such as, say, Luxembourg (a member of the European Union) and claiming that this is wicked, thereby demonstrating a strangely elastic concept of what is considered legitimate business practice. He is taken quite seriously on parts of the left, so I hear, and if we have another Labour-led government, he might be influential. Come to that, some of his ideas are even taken quite seriously by the Tories, so the partisan point should not be pressed too far.