Danny Alexander’s promise to tackle tax haven suppliers to HM Treasury has a hollow ring to it

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The Telegraph has reported Danny Alexanders speech yesterday, saying:

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said he would stop offshore companies bidding for Government contracts or receiving public subsidies.

The senior Liberal Democrat said he had instructed civil servants to find a way to bar them from getting state cash as "taxpayers should not be funding tax dodgers".

Of course I would welcome such a move. Indeed, I have argued for it. But I note the insidious way in which this is presented. It is "tax haven companies" that are to be denied state funds. It is not "groups of companies under tax haven control or "companies that have tax haven partners that extract the UK derived profits and transfer them to tax havens". The result is very obvious: Alexander's claim is a sham to let UK subsidiaries of tax havens bid whilst the Treasury knows the profits flee elsewhere.

Mind you, he'll still have to close a great many PFI schemes. And that in its own right should be quite amusing to watch. No doubt back tracking will be happening soon.