As I watched the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games last night it occurred to me just how many participating states are considered to be tax havens. My timeline became active in the theme and as a result I tweeted this:
Credit to @daniel_nash for renaming the #CommonwealthGames the #HiddenWealth games because of number of tax havens involved.
Daniel's suggestion was made in reaction to my tweets.
Based on the Tax Justice Network Financial Secrecy Index (full disclosure: I directed the first FSI, but not this version) the full list of participants that are tax havens based on the secrecy that they offer are as follows, with their rankings shown:
|Rank||Secrecy Jurisdiction||Secrecy Score|
|67||Antigua & Barbuda||80|
|80||St Kitts & Nevis||80|
|62||St Vincent & the Grenadines||78|
|63||Turks & Caicos Islands||78|
|34||Isle of Man||67|
|20||British Virgin Islands||66|
Clicking on each name should bring up their FSI report.
I generally cut off at 60 when deciding whether a place is a tax haven but there are exceptions. New Zealand , Cyprus and Malta all sell very specific tax haven law abuse. And the UK is, of course, the hub of this network, making London the epicentre of this arrangement, which is why the Tax Justice Network wrote to the Queen about it a year ago.
The opening of the games was marked by a fund raising gesture for UNICEF. Unfortunately the tax haven activities of so many Commonwealth states - the Hiddenwealth - will undermine any good that appeal will do. It is corruption that undermines developing countries - but most especially that facilitated by tax havens and the lawyers, accountants and bankers who populate them. And have no doubt, children suffer as a result.