UK Tory MP backs tax havens

| 02/11/2011

(Daily Telegraph): A conservative MP has spoken out in defence of tax havens and against what he called "a one-sided debate that demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of their role in the global financial market". Mark Field sought to dismantle the arguments put forward by the likes of Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands, an exposé of the secret world of offshore tax havens, and NGOs such as Action Aid, who often present the world's problems as solvable through the retrieval of money supposedly siphoned offshore.  Field argued that UK corporate tax avoidance via international finance centres was lower than the £25 billion claimed and advised the UK government to think twice before imposing more regulation on these jurisdictions.

The UK, in fact, had much to thank offshore finance jurisdictions for, particularly those with which it has a constitutional relation through its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, said Field at the Sovereign Group seminar at the Caledonian Club last week.  In a reference to the UK's participation in the current G20 summit, Mr Field said: "The UK has a constitutional relationship with half ofthe top 30 offshore finance centres.

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