The heist no one is talking about – how tax dodgers rob the poor

The heist no one is talking about – How tax dodgers rob the poor – Al Woods

This week Oxfam released a new short film that demonstrates the effects of tax dodging, which exceeds £78bn in poor countries every year.

This a number beyond comprehension for most of us, and were business to pay it would make immeasurable differences to poorest countries. If just a third of this figure was paid by the companies who do what they can to avoid it, it would be enough to cover essential healthcare and prevent the needless deaths of eight million mothers, babies and children.

The short film, titled The Heist No One Is Talking About, opens with masked criminals breaking into a hospital and wreaking havoc, taking medicines, materials and equipment without a single consideration for those who it effects.

The shift in tone from the usual Oxfam film hits you immediately, and it is clear that it has been influenced by Hollywood heist movies, specifically Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight. The costumes, the lighting, the eerie score all come together to dramatically emphasize the message that, whilst tax avoidance may not be a heist as we know it, the effects are just as devastating.

The film was created by Don’t Panic and produced by Stink Films, MPC and Whitehouse for Oxfam. Joe Wade, MD of Don’t Panic, says: “We aim to re-contextualise complex issues to make them appeal to new audiences, or to audiences that may have lost interest. We feel like this film dramatically achieves this by drawing people in with a heist set-up, before subverting it and delivering a stark message about the impact of tax avoidance. Which is something we’re all very proud to have been a part of on behalf of Oxfam.”

Matthew Spencer, Oxfam’s Campaigns Director, said: “Tax dodgers may not be literally stealing medicines from the pockets of the poorest but they are depriving poor countries of billions that could be invested in healthcare. It’s wrong that so many of the world’s poorest people are missing out on basic medical treatment that could save their lives and give them a chance of escaping poverty and hardship.”

Oxfam are asking governments to crack down on tax secrecy and help put an end to tax dodging. Higher levels of transparency would allow for greater insight into the taxes companies have paid so they can be held accountable. For more information visit the Oxfam website at and sign the petition at


The heist no one is talking about – How tax dodgers rob the poor – Al Woods


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