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Brown gets tough on tax havens

Gordon Brown is launching a global crackdown on tax havens in the face of the current credit crunch in a bid to close the net on billions of pounds of lost revenues.

The Prime Minister is thought to be targeting Switzerland, although a crackdown is likely to bring other offshore territories such as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, under scrutiny.

Speaking at his monthly press conference at Downing Street, Brown said: “We must persuade the whole of the world to take action and that will include action against regulatory and tax havens in parts of the world which have escaped the regulatory attention that they need. Changes that we make will have to apply to all jurisdictions round the world.”

Barack Obama singled out the Cayman Islands during the US presidential elections and outlined his intent to take a tougher stance on jurisdictions which offer greater secrecy and light-touch regulation on foreign investments.

AES International managing director Sam Instone says: “This makes good headlines because honest taxpaying citizens like to think people evading get caught but rich people are likely to just use complicated legitimate structures to plan elsewhere.”

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