Compensation has to be part of the package

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This from the St Kitts & Nevis Democrat:

Speaking recently Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat Parliamentarian who speaks for his party on finance, said that the British Treasury should tell banks receiving investment from the government to close their operations in offshore tax havens.

The argument behind this which seems to be gaining credibility with the UK Treasury is that tax havens weaken government's regulatory and tax hold on banks and their customers. Because, it is said such offshore institutions escape regulation, there is the possibility that they may undermine other regulatory systems.

If such an approach were to be applied - and it is by no means certain that there is enough of an international consensus - it could result in a serious contraction in the economies of some of the smallest but most viable Caribbean economies that have based their economic model on a mix of offshore financial services and up-scale tourism.

Vince Cable is right.

The Treasury is right to go down this path.

The concern in St Kitts & Nevis is right.

We will have to compensate these places as they develop alternative activity and - let's be candid - see their populations fall as the financial services industry jumps ship.

I think that would be just.