Monday, November 06, 2017

"Paradise Papers": investigation needed into Cameron decision

Liberal Democrat leader and former Business Secretary Vince Cable has revealed that then prime minister David Cameron went back on a plan to clamp down on off-shore tax havens. It comes as international controversy grows over the publication of the so-called "Paradise Papers".

Vince Cable said:

“Tax should not be an optional extra for the global elite. Citizens who dutifully pay their taxes need confidence that the system is fair. But the Paradise Papers suggest that a small number of wealthy individuals have been able, entirely legally, to put their money beyond the reach of the Exchequer.

“In the coalition government I introduced the Register of Beneficial Ownership, which established who owns British companies, and sought to extend that to British Overseas Territories. This was to clamp down on tax havens operating under the British flag. David Cameron was initially attracted to the idea, but when the Overseas Territories said on a visit to London that they were against it, he backed down.

“Given these revelations, including news that Conservative donors benefited from these arrangements, we need a parliamentary select committee to investigate fully who decided what and why. In particular, we need the release of all government papers dealing with the decision not to clamp down on off-shore tax havens. Only in this way can we ensure there is full public confidence in the tax system.”

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