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Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others #508979
11/09/15 05:13 AM
11/09/15 05:13 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 71,914
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing backlash in his country after an investigation found that the United Kingdom (UK) subsidized over 45 million pounds to so-called “tax havens”, including Belize.

According to British newspaper the Independent, an investigation conducted by that newspaper revealed that in 2013 the British government made substantial aid contributions to 13 countries included on the European Commission’s (EC) “tax haven” blacklist.

“Tax havens including Belize, Anguilla, and Panama have such high poverty levels that they qualify for substantial UK development grants”, the article said.

“UK aid funds have been directed to build an airport in Montserrat, and funds have been set aside to pay for roads and ports in Belize, Antigua & Barbuda, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines,” it further revealed.

The Reporter attempted to contact Belize Financial Secretary Joseph Waight to confirm the amount of aid received by GOB and where it was used since the Independent reported no breakdown of the aid-funding was available. Waight, however, was unavailable for comment.

John Christensen, director of the British Tax Justice Network, described the situation as “incoherent” and warned that the countries’ tax policies were being pursued at the expense of their own local populations.

“This issue goes straight to the heart of the tax justice agenda; there is an obvious lack of policy coherence when development assistance is being provided to countries that deliberately choose to set low or zero tax rates on corporate profits, or offer hugely expensive tax exemptions but can’t afford to provide even basic public services like health, security and education to their citizens”, he told the Independent.

“Donor countries need to pay far more attention to whether aid-recipient countries are making sufficient effort to tax their wealthy citizens and tackle corporate tax avoidance. Tackling tax dodging is an important step towards reducing reliance on aid and external debt,” he added.

The listed countries who receive aid are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Montserrat, Panama, Seychelles, St. Vincent & Grenadines, and Vanuatu.

The Reporter


In face of 'tax haven' attack, CARICOM must unite

By Sir Ronald Sanders

No member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ranks among the top 20 jurisdictions worldwide for financial secrecy. The United States of America (at number 3), Germany (8), Japan (12) and Britain (15), all rate as bigger tax havens than any CARICOM jurisdiction, according to the Tax Justice Network (TJN), an independent European-based think-tank.

Further, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes rates the US and European Union countries, Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Greece and Estonia only in the second grade of jurisdictions that are compliant with international standards.

This shows how difficult it is for all countries, even those with huge financial and human resources to put in place the raft of legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures necessary to satisfy the international requirements being set by bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Commission of the European Union (EC) and the Global Forum (GF).

For instance, the TJN 2015 Report on Financial Secrecy says, “The US has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows and supporting tax evasion.” It points out that the US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada have for decades been operating as onshore secrecy havens, specialising in setting up shell companies catering to overseas individuals and companies seeking to hide assets.

Additionally, the renowned international tax lawyer, Dr Bruce Zagaris, has also observed that: “Even though the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) found the US non-compliant on corporate transparency and gate-keepers standards in 2006 and has strengthened their standards in 2012, neither the US nor the District of Columbia has improved their own”.

It is significant that, in the Global Forum rating for compliance, six CARICOM jurisdictions are in the same category as the US, Britain and Germany – three of the world’s biggest economies. And, in the TJN 2015 Financial Secrecy Report, CARICOM countries general are assessed as more open and transparent than the US, Britain and Germany.

Click for the rest of the article on Caribbean News Now

Re: Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others [Re: Marty] #509000
11/09/15 02:23 PM
11/09/15 02:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,493
Short Offline
Short  Offline
So Belize is on the European Commission’s “tax haven” blacklist. Belize has a Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) according to Tax Justice Network (the higher FSI, the larger influence on world economy in terms of economical secrecy or tax avoidance) of 129,8.

Let's have a look at countries in the European Union that have a higher FSI (global ranking, country, FSI):
2. Luxemburg (FSI 1454,4)
8. Germany (FSI 738,3)
18. Austria (FSI 400,8)
21. United Kingdom (FSI 361,3)
39. Netherlands (FSI 204,9)
40. Belgium (FSI 199,2)
41. Cyprus (FSI 198,9)
43. France (FSI 190,9)
47. Ireland (FSI 155.5)
49. Gibraltar (FSI 147,8)

Countries affiliated with the European Union:
1. Switzerland (FSI 1765,2) - founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but is not a member of the European Economic Area. Not a member of the European Union but participates in the Schengen Agreement, allowing open borders with the EU.
15. Guernsey (FSI 419,3) - not a member of the European Union, but has a special relationship with it, being treated as part of the European Community for the purposes of free trade in goods.
33. Liechtenstein (FSI 240,9) - is a member of the European Free Trade Association, and while not being a member of the European Union, the country participates in both the Schengen Area and European Economic Area
34. Isle of Man (FSI 237,2) - holds neither membership nor associate membership of the European Union. Protocol 3 of the UK's Act of Accession to the Treaty of Rome included the Isle of Man within the EU's customs area, allowing for the trade for Manx goods without tariffs throughout the EU.

The European Union is actually a tax haven syndicate and little Belize with a few offshore bankaccounts is on their blacklist?

Even the US and Canada have a higher FSI than Belize:
6. United States (FSI 1212,9)
17. Canada (FSI 418,5)

"All countries are equal, but some countries are more equal than others" is my conclusion here.

Live and let live
Re: Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others [Re: Marty] #509003
11/09/15 03:26 PM
11/09/15 03:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline
They are revisiting Clare Short decision under Labour govt,

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Re: Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others [Re: Marty] #509034
11/10/15 01:15 PM
11/10/15 01:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 2,493
Short Offline
Short  Offline
NO, I'm not related to Clare.

Live and let live
Re: Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others [Re: Marty] #509037
11/10/15 03:56 PM
11/10/15 03:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline

Belize based travel specialist
[email protected]
Re: Backlash in UK over “tax haven” aid to Belize & others [Re: Marty] #509106
11/13/15 01:31 PM
11/13/15 01:31 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,203
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Short, that was a fascinating article.

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