Britain has been attacked by a senior US official for undermining progress on a global clampdown on tax avoidance by multinationals ahead of an international agreement to be published at the G20 talks in the autumn.
Before going further, let’s be clear that the US has tried to strangle country-by-country reporting at birth, and so has nothing to shout about here, but I still believe the accusation made, which seem to focus on Osborne’s petty UK national politicking which led to the wholly unnecessary diverted profits tax.
On this the Observer adds that it has:
spoken to a senior official in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, given responsibility by the G20 for organising the talks on global agreements, who confirmed that some of the UK’s moves had been “unhelpful” and that UK diplomats had “pushed back” against initiatives, leading to less progress being made.
I’ve had those same conversations, probably with those same people.
What are the conclusions? I guess there are four.
First, don’t doubt the US are seeking cover for their own objection to country-by-country reporting.
Second, don’t doubt that Osborne’s ability for pettiness can destroy coordinated progress on almost anything of worth.
Third, it is sadly apparent that the US and UK between them are more than capable of destroying agreement on tax reform.
Fourth, for the cynics, do consider the possibility that this suits them both.