To close down tax havens you have to upset people: it’s a fact

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The Guardian reports this morning:

Vince Cable's pledge at the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference to work with allies to close down tax havens may not go down well with two of the party's most generous corporate donors.

The business secretary told delegates he would crack down on those who used secretive, low tax jurisdictions: "No one keeps their cash in tax havens for the quality of investment advice; these are sunny places for shady people," he said.

Nicely stolen line, but let's get to the substance> To close down tax havens you have to upset those who work there and those who use them. It's a fact. They're there to do shady deals that benefit them at cost to the rest of us. They're free-riders on the system. In economic terms they're renet seekers. Use another term if you like: they're cheats.

They won't like being found out.

They won't like being told to stop.

They will scream and shout.

And courageous politicians will have to stand up to them.

I very much doubt Cable is going to do enough to stop them. But it's a move in the right direction. And if it upsets people it is working.