Saying “we’re not a tax haven” doesn’t convince anyone: Jersey, Antigua and Gibraltar, please note

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After a decade of campaigning on tax haven issues the claim I have probably heard more often than any other is "we're not a tax haven". It has been said time and again by states who are, of course, just that.

In the last few days Jersey has said it, and so have the prime ministers of Antigua and Gibraltar.

There is just one problem for them all, and that is that they are tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions.

Secrecy jurisdictions are places that intentionally create regulation for the primary benefit and use of those not resident in their geographical domain. That regulation is designed to undermine the legislation or regulation of another jurisdiction. To facilitate its use secrecy jurisdictions also create a deliberate, legally backed veil of secrecy that ensures that those from outside the jurisdiction making use of its regulation cannot be identified to be doing so.

One of the pleasures of having campaigned on this issue for a decade is that when we began evidence on this issue was harder to obtain. Now we have the Financial Secrecy Index to prove these people are wrong based on objective evidence and research.

Curiously not one secrecy jurisdiction or tax haven front organisation has sought to challenge the Financial Secrecy Index publicly, although we know Jersey  spends a fortune privately trying to do so. Could it be that they know it's right and are too frightened to enter debate? We challenge them but they never respond. Why is that? Is it that even they don't believe their claim?