Is this objective?

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I overlooked a report in the FT last week in which it was said that:

Michael Devereux, a professor at the Oxford University Centre for Business taxation, said the example of Shire, the pharmaceutical company which last week announced it was becoming tax-resident in Ireland, "could be the first of many such relocations" if the Treasury's proposals.. [for a] new "controlled company" regime .. to stop UK-based companies diverting profits to low tax jurisdictions abroad were implemented.

I admit I don't think Mike Devereux's comments should be viewed as objective, just because he's an Oxford economist. The conference at which he spoke is heavily sponsored by those who would be penalised by these new rules for a start. The European Tax Policy Forum, of which Mike is research director, and which ran the event is, for example, heavily influenced by GE Capital.

The reality is that business wants to be exempted from tax in the UK on the receipt of foreign dividend income. But there is no way on earth that this concession can be granted, with its inherent quality of exempting income relocated to tax havens from tax, unless that relocation to tax havens is barred by other means. And given that everyone in the Treasury knows that business is routinely relocating intellectual property offshore wherever possible of course they must take steps to stop potential abuse.

In the circumstances Mike Devereux's comments do not look objective. They look like pleading. And you don't need to be a professor to do that.