Lessons not being learned

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The government has published “UK international financial services — the future: A report from UK based financial services leaders to the Government

I guess this is one of those perfect cases of ask the wrong people the wrong question and you’ll get the answer you want, and as such I don’t analyse it in much detail.

Suffice to say this. First, it assumes that tax competition is good. It says on tax:

The industry supports that approach ‚Ķ. and hopes that the continuation of this constructive process [of interaction with government] can help develop some longterm principles that will underpin the industry’s goals of achieving a competitive, transparent and modern UK tax system over the next 10 to 15 years.

Competitive for whom, might I ask? And what does transparency mean, I wonder? Certainly there’s no mention of country-by-country reporting with the implicit requirement of UIK tax disclosure being made.

Second, I note that whilst Michael Foot argues in his report that tax havens/ secrecy jurisdictions such as the Crown Dependencies are crucial to the UK finance sector the issue is virtually entirely ignored here. I wonder why? Is there a selective blind eye being turned to this activity?

Third, the report notes that ‘liberalised finance’ is a strength to the UK. Excuse me? What? Have you noticed the harm it has done?

Lessons are clearly not being learned.

Very worrying indeed.

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