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Dispatches To Make Allegations Against Ministers Over Tax


Mikhail Liebenstein
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 The only allegation that might have caused any concern at all was the suggestion that somehow the Tax Status of the Cayman's was allowed to remain  when Labour had wanted to block the Government there increasing its borrowing unless Cayman changed its tax regime.  But I am not sure that directly connected with any individuals in power.

That said there probably is still a case for closing down the Tax Havens, especially things like Ugland House.

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Sorry but this program was a non-event, it had no chance of rocking the coalition.

It focused on Coalition MP's using the tax system to minimize their liabilities in a perfectly legal way. Everyone minimises their expenses as far as possible.

Well, we don't know about the legality since we can't see the accounts.

But in any case, if you make money in a country then you have a moral obligation to pay taxers in that country; to shift earnings abroad to avoid tax is exploitation ('I want the legal protection, consumer markets, stability and infrastructure of country A to make money, but I don't want to pay for those things').

This is a general feature of tax havens. Indeed, the existence of tax havens like the Caymans is a major reason for both high inequality in the west and the huge budget deficits. And the fact that we have ministers happily taking advantage of this state of affairs whilst at the same time declaring that we need huge public sector spending cuts is not something to be relaxed about.

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But in any case, if you make money in a country then you have a moral obligation to pay taxers in that country; to shift earnings abroad to avoid tax is exploitation ('I want the legal protection, consumer markets, stability and infrastructure of country A to make money, but I don't want to pay for those things').

I think that is what Danny and his heavy mob are taking aim at. There is a moral angle to this and although people may be behaving in a perfectly legal way some will get worried when the Treasury and PM start talking about clamping down on tax avoidance. I think they're hoping just a few threats will scare individuals into moving money back from offshore. Not quite the fire and brimstone we previously had from Dawn Primalo but it will come:

"There is a limit to what we ... regard as acceptable. And that limit is breached when people take advantage of tax breaks in a way Parliament would not have anticipated ... Those who do so must be prepared for us to ... clamp down ... They must recognise they are playing with fire." - Dawn Primalo

While the LibsCons may adopt a similar stance they will do little to actually close any loopholes in the law. It will be up to individuals to decide how scared they are by the rantings of a bespectacled ginger muppet. Big business will carry on as before.

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I think that is what Danny and his heavy mob are taking aim at. There is a moral angle to this and although people may be behaving in a perfectly legal way some will get worried when the Treasury and PM start talking about clamping down on tax avoidance. I think they're hoping just a few threats will scare individuals into moving money back from offshore. Not quite the fire and brimstone we previously had from Dawn Primalo but it will come:

"There is a limit to what we ... regard as acceptable. And that limit is breached when people take advantage of tax breaks in a way Parliament would not have anticipated ... Those who do so must be prepared for us to ... clamp down ... They must recognise they are playing with fire." - Dawn Primalo

While the LibsCons may adopt a similar stance they will do little to actually close any loopholes in the law. It will be up to individuals to decide how scared they are by the rantings of a bespectacled ginger muppet. Big business will carry on as before.

The problem is, the kind of people who do this are the kind who regard tax avoidance as some sort of duty, and so would not be scared out of it.

If the western countries that were effectively looted by this behavior actually got together in their own interests (or at least the interests of the vast majority of their voters), the whole system of tax havens could be dismantled in a week; which is why you will see lots and lots of political donations and lobbying... and plenty of media propaganda should concrete measures ever be proposed.

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The problem is, the kind of people who do this are the kind who regard tax avoidance as some sort of duty, and so would not be scared out of it.

If the western countries that were effectively looted by this behavior actually got together in their own interests (or at least the interests of the vast majority of their voters), the whole system of tax havens could be dismantled in a week; which is why you will see lots and lots of political donations and lobbying... and plenty of media propaganda should concrete measures ever be proposed.

You're right the majority of people who do some kind of tax mitigation on any meaningful scale are usually pretty hardcore. But you would be surprised at how popular thing kind of thing has become. My parents in law surprised me a few years back when they told me they'd moved the proceeds from a house sale to an offshore account - they're not exactly that savvy with their money but they were driven by one thing and that was to stop the tax authorities in the country where they live getting their hands on any of the cash.

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If they've made edecisions as Ministers for personal benefit, that's corruption.

As for the rest of it, what's the news? Trust Funds are a well known device and in any case people drawing money out of them pay tax.

I agree.

All the dross about them taking advantage of tax breaks that NL introduced is a complete non story. If there's a problem with these tax breaks then they should be removed, blaming the person who used them is the same as shooting the messenger.

Though all the "offshore" stuff looks a bit dodgy

tim

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Does anyone know just how I can move my small savings into a tax haven?

Ask your financial advisor.

If you don't have one, try a quick tour of your highstreet banks for someone with a clue. They'll be happy to open an account for you in the channel islands or IOM. Or try looking online.

Unlikely to save you money, but the research will be an educational exercise.

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My parents in law surprised me a few years back when they told me they'd moved the proceeds from a house sale to an offshore account - they're not exactly that savvy with their money but they were driven by one thing and that was to stop the tax authorities in the country where they live getting their hands on any of the cash.

...the Revenue have an understanding with the Channel Islands these days ....safe for interest for what it's worth to be declared for those chosing these deposit holders.... .... :rolleyes:

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The problem is, the kind of people who do this are the kind who regard tax avoidance as some sort of duty, and so would not be scared out of it.

If the western countries that were effectively looted by this behavior actually got together in their own interests (or at least the interests of the vast majority of their voters), the whole system of tax havens could be dismantled in a week; which is why you will see lots and lots of political donations and lobbying... and plenty of media propaganda should concrete measures ever be proposed.

We should invade these islands and nick the banking data - esp want to see how much the Royals + members of aristocracy stuff away off-shore while they lord-it over the tax-paying minions!

Edited by erranta
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I was actually quite pleased by the programme. The worse Dispatches could find was people making appropriate tax planning They must have looked around for all sorts of illegality, and the best they could do was find people making appropriate tax planning and, in George Osborne's case, to pick one, simply being the beneficiary of tax planning done by his father 20 plus years ago.

Total tosh ..... what they are doing is entirely legal and in fact, extremely sensible. Compare and contrast to thieving [Asian and Labour in particular] Peers.....

The whole point is they take advantage of all their holdings from the citizens of the UK (and it's stability which gives them that advantage) but go out of their way to avoid paying back into the system they exploit.

Now xxxxtimes that by every Billionaire and Millionaire with monetary interests in the UK = a bankrupt country within a short while!

Maybe this banking thing is all a deliberate cover up for the decades of pilfering that has gone on previously? :(

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