THIS week has seen shocking revelations in the Paradise Papers – a worldwide investigation by almost 100 media partners into a leak of more than 13 million files from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens.

As last year’s Panama Papers did, the revelations shine a light on the world of offshore finance, and how high-net-worth individuals use complex structures and arrangements to minimise the amount they pay in taxes.

The Government must take much stronger action to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes. They say they are cracking down on tax avoiders - yet once again we see the UK and UK Crown Territories at the centre of an international tax avoidance scandal.

The UK controls many of the world’s key tax havens – Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Bahamas, BVI, Cayman, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands – as either Crown Dependencies or British Overseas Territories.

It is time to call time on these tax havens – where it should be remembered that the vast majority of ordinary people do not live in luxury, and indeed in the case of the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos, are struggling to put their lives back together after the devastation of recent hurricanes.

There, as here, there is a world of difference between the majority of people who pay their tax in the usual way, and the very rich who use complex arrangements to avoid paying their fair share. There, as here, there is one rule for the super-rich and another for the rest when it comes to paying tax.

The Government says it will crack down – but this avoidance, and in some cases evasion, of taxes by the world elite is happening in our own back garden, and UK Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies sit at the centre of a network of companies used by the super-rich, celebrities and politicians to hide their global assets and wealth.

This scandal has been allowed to go unaddressed for too long. It is not only a national embarrassment - it denies funds that could be spent on public services at home, and it helps in part to enable global poverty.

Only last week the Conservatives voted down Labour’s amendments to the Finance Bill to tackle the scandal of tax evasion and avoidance. Hard-working taxpayers deserve better – which is why Labour is proposing a Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme to root out tax evasion and clamp down on tax havens.