The Financial Times on tax havens

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An important editorial in the FT this morning says (and I selectively quote):

Last week was not kind to tax evaders.

Supporters of bank secrecy have wrung their imaginations dry in coming up with ingenious defences for secret accounts. The very real fear of kidnapping in places such as Latin America is one of the few good reasons that might justify allowing the rich to hide their wealth. But for the most part opacity simply helps to evade taxes.

Havens may feel aggrieved at being bullied by the diplomatic gunboats of grander powers. But they have only made concessions when forced to do so.

This pressure should not be lifted. Many of the new information-sharing agreements are weak. They do represent a step forward and will make tax evaders sleep less easily, but more openness is essential. The UK must make sure that its own overseas territories do not remain safe for tax evaders.

Tax havens will find that even if they try, they cannot guarantee to keep clients’ wealth hidden if home countries continue wielding their weapons.

I rather like the word ‘will’ and not ‘must’ in that last sentence.

The FT is saying we will this war if we just have the drive to keep going.It’s my impression that the drive exists. If I contribute a little of it, I’m happy.

As I’m equally happy to note that the FT buys much of what we are saying, including the fact that Tax Information Exchange Agreements can’t deliver and that, as yet, our territories are far from free from suspicion.

Good to see that the message is being hear.