Crown dependencies spin blacklist removal

| 21/07/2011

(Daily Telegraph): John Christensen, a Jersey economic advisor for 11 years, has accused Guernsey and Jersey of spinning a tax story in order to appear more transparent. A story about Jersey and Guernsey being "removed" from a US blacklist of tax havens was released by both jurisdictions earlier this week. In the Guernsey press release, the island's chief minister Lyndon Trott was said to be "delighted that Guernsey would no longer be unfairly blacklisted" and cited "continued dialogue" with Washington as being "instrumental in changing the legislation."

Jersey's release quoted its treasury minister Philip Ozouf as saying: “We have regular meetings and good contacts in Washington, which have helped to develop recognition of Jersey as a responsible and transparent jurisdiction.”

Christensen, who left Jersey and his economic advisory role in 1998 to voice his concerns about how the island was being used as a tax haven, has now criticised both islands for inferring that they were removed after being recognised as open and transparent regimes when in fact the blacklist was abolished altogether by the Americans in favour of a new bill to stop tax haven abuse.

On his Tax Justice Network blog, Mr Christensen wrote: "One important feature of the new Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, which aims to beef up the US's protections against abusive offshore behaviour, is the abolition of a 'blacklist' of secrecy jurisdictions that was in previous versions.

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