Cayman HR chair defends two car families

| 31/08/2011

(CNS): Richard Coles, who currently has a duel role in the Cayman Islands, has defended the middle classes in a short article for Cayman Finance, one of the two bodies he chairs. Coles, who took over the leadership of the offshore financial services industry organization after Anthony Travers stepped down, is also chair of the Human Rights Commission. In an article answering a UK newspaper comment that says there is "no moral case for tax havens", Cole says that taxes punish the “sub millionaire, middle classes with two cars in the garage and three children heading for college,” and suggests if this section of the community is stifled there will soon be no community.

Many human rights groups around the world have concerns about the link between offshore finance and human rights abuses. A significant number of leading NGOs and charities suggest that large corporations that use offshore financial centres to avoid taxes and royalties to developing countries deprive governments – especially those in lesser developed nations — of essential revenues to deliver development, health, education, housing, water and other human rights.

However, in his role as Cayman Finance chair, Cole, Cayman's former attorney general, defends the rights of the tax payer to keep more of what he says is the money they earn and also defends Cayman in the face of the commentary published in the Independent at the weekend.

Echoing the same arguments made by his predecessor, Cole has criticized the article by Paul Valley because he says it repeats the “hoary old clichés” and notes the 12,000 corporations that are registered at Ugland House but, Cole says, it doesn’t mention the Delaware office with 217,000 names on the door.

Coles claimed that the Cayman Islands facilitates the flow of trillions of dollars from the international capital markets to the balance sheets of US institutions, and taking aim at what he said was the UK’s  “left wing press", he said it was determined to conflate Cayman, “a perfectly  transparent  jurisdiction”, with non transparent jurisdictions such as  Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, where “as the facts slowly emerge, we inescapably conclude that tax evasion actually occurs,” he said.

The financial association chair said that no one disagrees that “tax evasion is wrong,” especially in the “Cayman Islands where the transparency debate was concluded over 20 years ago,” he stated in the short article, adding that Cayman has tax treaties with the United States and the European Union.

As often argued by Travers, Coles said “only the criminally insane tax evader” would use the Cayman Islands because of the power of access to Cayman accounts that IRS, DOJ and the European Treasuries have.

“Yet we find that the expressions "evasion”, “outrage “, ”loopholes" and "avoidance” are now  used interchangeably and indiscriminately to describe Cayman financial structuring without reference to legal and accounting precedent, standard or principle or the factual treaty position,” Cole wrote.

Quoting Daniel J. Mitchell, Cole wrote that tax competition affords taxpayers the ability to enjoy more of what they earn.

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  1. slowpoke says:

    The first sentence says it all " who currently has a duel role". 

    Nothing like right wing, no taxes, capitalist activists fighting it out with the taxing, people should be educated, have health care, liberals.

    Cognitive dissonance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The rest of the world should take a book out of Cayman's page and stop blaming us if their citizens want to do business with us due to our financial structure.  If I was in that position I would simply eliminate the high corporate and other taxes and follow what Cayman has done that is to have an indirect tax system.

    Cayman is no worst that the many tax jurisdictions of Europe (due to time restraints will not name them) and Delaware in the USA.  All this is because of one stupid movie the Firm, presidents, journalists and a host of people have the wrong perception of these islands as an illegal tax shelter and if the truth be known Cayman is one of the most clean, well regulated and run financial jurisdictions in the world, maybe Wall Street should have done the kind of due diligence that Cayman does and it would have saved them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman doesn't do ANY regulation. It just has a set of laws and required reports. Enforcement is left to others suing in the courts.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I support education and capitalism and believe that high taxes and politics simply feed power and corruption.
    When is the last time you really thought your tax dollars were spent wisely?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is not about wealth and freedom. It is about greed as it's own reward. The "sub-millionare Middle-class" harbors egos with the insatiable urge to have everything while depriving others of basic needs and laying the  environment to waste.

    • A very sub-millionaire person says:

      This makes my shortlist for clueless generalisation of the year award. Middle classes = evil scumbags, upper classes = (presumably) even more evil scumbags, lower classes = sainthood. Awesome.

  5. dartanian says:

    Glad am I to see the quick response by Cayman Finance to an article in the "foreign press" disappointed though I remain that they have been so silent on the reputational assination of the Cayman reputation in the international arena that is being caused by the fact that the premier is under criminal investigation.

    Where is their call for the Premier to step aside while the investigations are being conducted.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hear hear! I came from parents who had nothing so stop whining. I studied hard for twenty years,(in Govt schools) sacrificed and saved my money, pay my taxes to support roads, schools, hospitals, military, etc….I deserve my hard earned dollars! Taxing every company globally and every working person over 30% is a nanny-state socialistic nightmare. Long live Capitalism, fight Socialism and politicians!!!

    If you are jealous of the wealthy, then work harder and force your children to take school seriously. Opportunity exists for those who seek it.

    • notagain:::8 says:

      Hear! hear! I could'nt have said it any better. There will always be the haves & the have nots. Thats not to say that its a crime or shame. I came from a poor family, burnt oil lamps to study, watched my mom twist thatch rope, dad work for National Bulk, etc,etc.  I have faired very well on my own by hard work and perserverance. So you all are telling me that I should'nt enjoy the fruit of my labor. I pay my dues and give to the needy as much as I can. However when people whine and dont want to work for a living as the job is below them then I have a problem. My grand mother always told us" learn to take care of your selves , as you never know whose pot you may have to lick"  So what if its only $5.00 hour, aint that better than no money at all. Come on , this is envy which is a sin, so take the job thats offered you and try saving a few $ might make you happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you, Cayman do not want to be  or need to be socialist state.  Just look at some of those socialist countries for example Germany, France, Austria, most of Scandinavia, look at the high taxes that they pay and their people get nothing in return.  Compared to Cayman they have NO free health insurance, NO free education from preschool to university for ALL, no social housing and child care for the less fortunate, NO free service for their elderly if they require assisted care in state of the art 1st world standard nursing home, wonderfully cared for without having to pay one dollar towards their care. As you can see Cayman pays no taxes and our people live so well and have so many opportunities that far out weights what those socialist nanny-states have, they are all broke and can hardly pay their bills, long live Capitalism, yes look at Cayman and just how prosperous we are without having to pay high taxes. 

  7. Doobles says:

    Just becuase Delaware may be worse does not make what we do OK.

    We are helping the rich and helping them keep help from the poor, the ill and the needy.

    The existence of the Exempt Company is the antithesis of all that is Christian.

    Are we transparent?  Then tell me where can we see the directors of an exempt company?  Where can we see the shareholders in an exempt company?  Where can we see public audited annual accounts of an exempt company?  Where has your transparency gone?

    • Anonymous says:

      That is hyperbolic nonsense. First, you can see the register of directors of an exempted company. Second, there is no reason at all why you should be able to see public audited accounts of an exempted company unless it is a publicly listed company. These are mostly privately held companies and what their accounts say is not the public's business.   

      • Double Entry says:

        You can't see the register of an exempted company.

        Transparency. It is the enemy of impropriety.  Filing accounts at a companies registry is the enemy of fraud and tax evasion. 

        It is the public's business when tax dollars are used to bail out companies that structured tax dodging deals with off balance sheet shenanigans in the Caymans.

        • Anonymous says:

          Get over it! are the registers public in Delaware or any other financial jurisdiction similar to the Cayman Islands?  Cayman has lost much of its business in the financial industry listening to and tyring to toe the line for the FATF and OECD while many of their members are way behind us in regulations.  We have killed our banking industry and has made it so very difficult for anyone to open an account in these islands while it is much easier for anyone to open an account in tne USA, so much for regulations.

      • Chris Johnson says:

        I am afraid that you cannot see the Register of Directors of either an ordinary company or an exempted company neither can you inspect the Register of Shareholders of an exempted company unless permission is granted by the company.

        I have been advocating for many years that the Register of Directors should be made open to the public to encourage transparency. Todate I have met firm restence particularly from  certain members of the CIDA. In this day and age it is ludicrous that one cannot ascertain this information and by the way the Memorandum and Articles of Association are also not open for inspection. Mr Travers used to brag about transparency; well it cannot have been about the Cayman Islands.

    • YankeeDoodle says:

      Well said!  Cayman is a parasite.