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UK offshore centres breathe sigh of relief as Foot interim report released

Government officials from such jurisdictions as Jersey and the Isle of Man expressed support for findings contained in Michael Foots interim report on offshore financial centres, released late yester

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Government officials from such jurisdictions as Jersey and the Isle of Man expressed support for findings contained in Michael Foot’s interim report on offshore financial centres, released late yesterday, while a TUC official called it “deeply disappointing”.

The report mainly outlines the parameters of Foot’s ongoing investigation and details the current taxation systems of the various financial centres.

Jersey chief minister Terry Le Sueur said the report was “a very constructive explanation” of how the review will be conducted, and noted that it “makes it clear that the constitutional position of the financial centres is not within its [the UK government’s] scope”.

Isle of Man chief minister Tony Brown added that the Crown Dependency regarded the review as “a wholly appropriate action given the unprecedented global financial turmoil affecting all economies”.

“As a responsible international business and finance centre with strong relations and interaction with the UK it is only appropriate we work together to examine our economic models in light of the new world that is emerging,” he added.

However, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said the “deeply disappointing” report “suggests that this leisurely review is more focused on helping tax havens through their current financial difficulty than addressing the serious threat they pose to the global economy”.

 “The Treasury needs to get a grip of this Review and decide whether it is flowing with or against the grain of world opinion which has turned so decisively against tax havens since the G20,” he added.

Foot’s interim view may be seen at
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/indreview_foot_review_progess_apr09__pu772.pdf
 

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