Britain presses territories on tax action before G8 summit

LONDON Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:26am BST

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron speaks at the G8 UK Innovation Conference in London June 14, 2013. REUTERS/Facundo Arrizabalaga/Pool

Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron speaks at the G8 UK Innovation Conference in London June 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Facundo Arrizabalaga/Pool

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LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron will press its overseas tax havens to sign up to an international transparency treaty in London on Saturday, hoping to bolster British credibility ahead of next week's G8 summit.

Britain is looking to ensure its self-governing regions, some of which are world-leading tax havens, are taking action to improve information sharing before Cameron meets leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) major economies to push for coordinated global action on tax avoidance and evasion.

A government statement said Cameron would be asking 10 territories and self-governing regions to sign up to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters - an initiative led by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

"He will argue that there is no point in dealing with tax evasion in one country if the problem is simply displaced to another," a government statement released ahead of the talks said.

Bermuda, one of Britain's overseas territories said on Thursday it had agreed to back the OECD treaty, which is signed by more than 50 countries and requires them to share information on individuals who hold bank accounts in their jurisdictions.

The Prime Minister is also seeking agreement from the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

Cameron will also use a pre-G8 conference later in the day to set out the importance of breaking down complicated offshore tax structures in tackling corruption and helping developing countries collect revenues.

Global tax evasion could be costing more than $3 trillion (1.91 trillion pounds) a year according to researchers from Tax Justice Network while as much as $32 trillion - twice the size of U.S. gross domestic product - could be hidden by individuals in tax havens

"Corruption is wrong. It starves the poor. It poisons the system. It saps the faith of people in progress. It wrecks the case for aid," Cameron will say.

"But by ending the era of tax secrecy and driving real openness over what governments and businesses do it can change."

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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Comments (4)
Bilboburgler wrote:
Delaware, when will the US close this tax haven?

Jun 14, 2013 7:58am BST  --  Report as abuse
Truebrit wrote:
Perhaps if governments did not waste so much of taxpayers money and were efficient in their use of it, people would not mind paying it.
It is because governments have no idea how to create wealth themselves that they steal money from those who have worked hard and become wealthy.
What right do governments have to steal the resultant wealth from these people and organisations?
It is theft

Jun 14, 2013 8:05am BST  --  Report as abuse
davidss wrote:
Why not lower our corporation tax to the same or less than island problem solved or is that to easy. Everyone happy lower corporation tax for companies, more revenue for the country. Win Win

Jun 14, 2013 9:40am BST  --  Report as abuse
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