Cayman gets the argument wrong

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The Cayman News Service carried an article by Tim Ridley, chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority in response to that by Angel Gurria in the Guardian last week. He said:

The Secretary-General of the OECD (a Paris based organisation whose staff enjoy privileged tax free remuneration packages, yet roundly criticises genuine tax free jurisdictions), Angel Gurria, lobbed another ball onto the court on Friday 28th November. Towards the end of his speech in Doha, he stated "We must all work to strengthen anti-corruption efforts to minimize tax evasion. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the massive loss of revenue through the diversion of public and private funds to third countries."

So now corruption and tax evasion (by no means the same thing) are neatly tied together and will become the new mantra. Just in case people were getting bored with the mantra of money laundering and tax evasion.

Tim (who I have met) is absolutely wrong on this issue. Tax evasion is by definition illegal. It is, therefore, a corrupt practice. To argue otherwise is to endorse corruption.

Why did he do that?

PS: I know that Cayman does not have a law that makes tax evasion illegal, but then it does not have the taxes that people evade using its services and as such it has to accept the definition in use in the places where they are resident. In almost every location bar Cayman, Switzerland and a few other tax havens tax evasion is illegal. If this is Tim Ridley's defence it is sophistry and as a Cambridge educated man he should and would know that to be the case.