Darling issues a warning to the Isle of Man

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Alistair Darling said this to the Treasury Select Committee yesterday:

I would just add another thing, I actually think having looked at what has happened over the last few months we really do need to have a long hard look about the relationship between this country and the Isle of Man - a 'tax haven' sitting in the Irish Sea -where you know, where we really, (stutters) where it is leading to, perhaps, people not really being clear to what the different rights and responsibilities are. But we can't have the situation where sitting there, with all sorts of tax advantages accruing to being in the Isle of Man, but when things go wrong people saying 'what about the British compensation scheme?' So it is important that we take this opportunity, not rushing in to it, not a knee jerk reaction, but I think we do need to have a look at it, and indeed it is something that your own committee may want to look at as well.

That committee was looking at offshore financial centres before the summer, but its hearings on the issue have been put on hold by the credit crisis.

I wrote the Tax Justice Network's submission to that hearing, called 'Creating Turmoil'.

I agree with Alistair Darling. It is time that committee to pick up the subject once more.

Maybe, just maybe, we will follow Obama's lead if he wins tonight.