Wednesday, August 31, 2011

That UK criminal clampdown in full

From Private Eye:
That criminal clampdown in full
“Those who make the wrong decision, who engage in criminality, must be identified, arrested and punished, and we will make sure that happens”.
11 August 2011. Home Secretary
Theresa May outlines her no-nonsense approach to criminal justice.

“The United Kingdom further states that the criminal prosecution of bank employees due to participation in tax offences is highly unlikely”.
23 August 2011. Clause in UK-Swiss tax deal agreed by
Chancellor George Osborne, proving there’s one set of laws for Britain’s teenage miscreants and another for its bankers.
It also contains useful articles on tax avoidance schemes at Cadbury's and at Pearson's, as well as providing a useful pointer to one important reason why the UK-Swiss deal will not work. On UK shelves now. One snippet in particular is interesting:
"Among the more active purveyors of Swiss bank accounts is HSBC Private Bank in Geneva. Last year HMRC [UK Revenue and Customs] was sold details of its secret accounts and more recently two businessmen were convicted in the US of hiding $50m there. The UK-Swiss deal gets the banks off the hook for this kind of thing, too, committing HMRC not to use any more data from whistleblowers or to take on the bankers themselves. Whether the man who jetted into Zurich six times up to March (and doubtless many times since) to negotiate the deal personally, HMRC boss Dave Hartnett, had the power to tie Knacker’s hands at the behest of the Swiss is something that might yet be challenged."
(For those who aren't familiar with Private Eye, Knacker, or Inspector Knacker of the {Scotland} Yard, is a term that refers to the British Police.) We look forward to a challenge!

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