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Ed Miliband demands tax haven transparency

Labour leader Ed Miliband has written to the leaders of tax havens such as Bermuda, Gibraltar and Jersey warning they have six months to open their books or face international blacklisting if Labour is elected in May.

Miliband said the overseas territories and crown dependencies would be referred to the OECD if they failed to produce public records of “beneficial ownership” – the details of who profits from a company, Sky reports.

An international agreement was struck at the 2013 G8 summit in Northern Ireland to expose those who use shell companies to evade tax.

Prime minister David Cameron said at the time: “Each and every one of our overseas territories and crown dependencies has agreed to sign up to the multi-lateral convention on information exchange to exchange information automatically with the UK and to produce action plans on beneficial ownership”.

But Miliband said none of the countries of which Britain has sovereignty have accepted the Government’s appeal to boost transparency.

In addition, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have rejected calls to make public companies registered there.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “For 13 years – including when he was an adviser in the Treasury – Labour did absolutely nothing to tackle tax avoidance. This shows that Ed Miliband is simply too weak to deliver on what he promises.

“In contrast, we are tackling the problem head-on. David Cameron put tax dodging at the top of the global agenda at the UK’s G8 summit, securing major new international rules to ensure that companies pay what they owe.”

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  1. Hot air – as usual. There are numerous jurisdictions that don’t give a toss what Ed Milliband, the US or any other puffed up politician has to say.

    One day it might just sink in that if these moaning Minnie’s were to have appropriate tax rates it wouldn’t be worth these people researching and paying significant sums to find places to stash their assets.
    Indeed several years ago there was a large cruise liner on which some of the wealthy lived and therefore didn’t come under any jurisdiction and therefore paid no tax anywhere. They did however have to fork out a considerable sum to live on the ship. I also knew of someone who just kept moving from country to country living in hotels. Neither of these have much appeal to most, but just goes to illustrate the lengths some will (legally) go to if they deem the tax imposition to be unfriendly.

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