Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mark Field: the Member for Tax Havens

The Telegraph is carrying an article titled 'Tax havens benefit the UK economy, says Tory MP'. The MP in question is Mark Field, who regularly speaks out on behalf of tax havens, and claims that critics of these places (that's us) mount "a one-sided debate that demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of their role in the global financial market". Harsh words, especially since he specifically cites Nick Shaxson's Treasure Islands ("combines meticulous research with amusing anecdotes" Financial Times) to exemplify our lack of understanding. On this occasion Field was addressing members of the Sovereign Group, an organisation that specialises in wealth management using a wide range of secrecy jurisdictions.

Nick Shaxson mounts a robust defence of our position in the article (read on here), but we'd like to invite Mark Field to expand just a bit on what he means by "healthy tax competition". As we have argued for many, many years, tax competition is always harmful to public interest, always causes market distortions, always harms democracy, always serves the interests of rich people over poor.

Politicians have been allowed to get away with this nonsense about tax competition for far too long. Now we call on Mark Field to explain how tax competition delivers better goods and services to anyone, anywhere on the planet. We promise to publish his response in full.


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