So much for saving the world Post author By Kevin O’Rourke Post date January 22, 2009 I find this unbelievable. Categories In Uncategorized 4 Comments on So much for saving the world ← The cost of carbon targets → Social Harmony and Fiscal Reform 4 replies on “So much for saving the world” Kevin I suspect Ireland has not been a leading light in this area, despite us having far less vested interest (though increasing now that we are the proud owners of our own offshore subsidiary in the Isle of Man of Anglo Irish). I have been unable to ascertain whether Ireland is a member of this Task Force though I very much doubt it given our reported behaviour last October, see link to Tax Justice Network below and a relevant extract. “In case you didn’t see it, a recent blog of ours, written by John Christensen after a meeting of the UN Tax Committee in Geneva, gave a specific example of the UK’s truly shameful stance: “In light of the appalling growth of inequality, the steady decline of the ability of governments in poorer countries to fund essential services, and the social damage caused by tax evasion, the case for strengthening cooperation on tax matters is stronger than ever. Sadly, however, in Geneva on Tuesday I witnessed the sordid spectacle of three major tax haven countries, Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom, voting against a proposal to strengthen the role of the UN Tax Committee, flying in the face of the wishes of the developing countries, who voted en masse in favour. It is fair to say that the majority of the expert members, observer countries and civil society participants at the Geneva meeting seethed with anger at the naked power play by these tax haven economies.” http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcat=2 Eoin, I suspect that you are right, without knowing the facts — it is something I think we need to start debating here. This article is quite incorrect in arguing that there is a patter of UK authorities impeding transparency. For example, UK is usually biggest pusher for more transparent accounting standard in Europe. France and Italy usually be biggest pushers against. Same goes for auditing standards. Same goes for corporate governance standards. The tax thing in DC is just a taking shop and its not connected to the current banking crisis. The Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and others are all British territories, so the British do have a big responsibility here. I am not saying that this is linked to the banking crisis. It is linked to the need for fairness, and fairness is important for the future openness of the world economy, in my view. Comments are closed.