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Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Don't Believe The Hype - Financial Secrecy
The Tax Justice Network (registered in Belgium) has recently published a Financial Secrecy Index, which allegedly evaluates the transparency of "tax havens" and their willingness to cooperate with other countries tax operations.
Rather amusingly the UK comes in at number 5 out of 60; ie we are "naughtier" than eg the Cayman Islands.
FYI, Belgium (where TJN is registered) comes in at number 9. Maybe, in the interests of practicing what they preach, they should register themselves in Monaco (number 60)?
Vilifying these places may well give some peculiar emotional satisfaction to the hair shirt wearing members of TJN. However, it serves little practical purpose and is potentially harmful to our own economy.
As I noted earlier on this site:
"A recently published Treasury report into offshore tax havens (British Offshore Financial Centres) highlights the important role played by the Crown Dependencies in funding banks on the UK mainland.
Which is kind of ironic, given that HMRC and the Treasury have been vilifying these places for sometime now describing them as havens for "evil" tax avoiders and tax evaders.
The report notes that the Crown Dependencies make a "significant contribution to the liquidity of the UK market".
Given the parlous state of the Brown's Bankrupt Britain, and the fact that despite owning several banks the government appears to be powerless to increase bank lending (thus kickstarting a recovery), the liquidity provided by these offshore centres is even more vital to our embattled economy.
The report notes that in the second quarter of this year, they provided net funds to banks in the UK of £195BN.
Oh and what makes these offshore centres a magnate for inflows of money, that are then funnelled into the UK?
That would be their low tax rates!"
Anyhoo, following the "logic" of TJN, the British government should be pressing itself to reveal to itself details about financial transactions etc going on within its own borders?
John Christensen, director of the Tax Justice Network's international
secretariat, is quoted on the Accountancy Age site lumping in tax avoidance with fraud, terrorism and all manner of illegal activities:
"But this comes at a price.
Financial secrecy provides cover for all manner of crimes and abusive practices: money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance, insider trading, terrorist financing, embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, illicit financial flows, fraud and much more."
Hype, even by TJN's standards!
These people will not be happy until there is 24 hour state monitoring of our every action (financial, physical, etc), their rationale being "guilty until proven innocent"!
Thus starts the journey to dictatorship.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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