Corbyn queries Cayman’s celebration over UK deal

| 13/04/2016 | 8 Comments
CNS Business

British Houses of Parliament, London

(CNS Business): The fact that the Cayman Islands has welcomed the recent agreement with the UK over how it will share beneficial ownership details with British law enforcement and tax authorities was used against Prime Minister David Cameron this week by the opposition leader in the British parliament. Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn pointed to Premier Alden McLaughlin’s comments about the deal being what Cayman wanted as an illustration that the UK had not gone far enough to address the transparency issue in the British overseas territories’ offshore centres.

On Monday McLaughlin warned that the rhetoric and demands for more would not stop because of the deal but he had confidence that, with the Cameron’s approval of the deal, the pressure would ease for a while. Although he warned that the PM still wanted Cayman to have a public register in line with the UK’s own plans, he welcomed the fact that the UK had accepted a centralised platform that would facilitate limited access and allow financial institutions and corporate entities to retain the data privately rather than on a public register.

The perception by the opposition benches in the UK that Cameron has not gone far enough and has allowed the territories to keep a lid on offshore secrets illustrates that McLaughlin’s warning is well-founded.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Corbyn used McLaughlin’s comments against Cameron.

“It’s interesting that the premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin, is today apparently celebrating his victory over the prime minister because he is saying that the information certainly will not be available publicly or available directly by any UK or non-Cayman Islands agency,” the Labour leader said Monday. “The prime minister is supposed to be chasing down tax evasion and tax avoidance; he’s supposed to be bringing it all into the open.”

Cameron, whom McLaughlin recently described as one of the only British prime ministers to ever defend the offshore territories, defended the agreement with Cayman and similar deals with the other overseas territories during Parliamentary question time. He said they were now being cooperative and praised their pledged adoption of new rules.

“In terms of who is at the top of the pyramid of tax secrecy, I think it is now unfair to say that about our crown dependencies and overseas territories,” he told the parliament. “They are now going to cooperate with the three things that we asked them to do in terms of the reporting standard, the exchange of tax information, and now the register of beneficial ownership.”

He also explained his position regarding the blacklisting of BOTs. “We’re happy to support blacklists but we don’t think we should draw up a blacklist solely on the basis of a territory raising a low tax rate; we don’t think that’s the right approach,” Cameron added.

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Jeremy Corbyn is growing in popularity day on day. He won’t be popular in Cayman, he is against all things Cayman supports – overtly or covertly – including corruption, discrimination, inequality. He is for equality, honesty and meritocracy. Way to go Jezza

    • Anonymous says:

      @!2:28 You did not mention the most important thing that he wants to destroy here in Cayman, thousands of jobs and a great lifestyle for UK residents living and working here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Corbin is a socialist Joke representing the unwashed unemployed benefit scrounging masses fueled by envy.
      I really don’t see why we should worry about his bleating.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Alden!

    • Shhhhhhhhhh. says:

      I wonder if our Hon. Premier reminded my Corbyn to file his tax return while he was there? LOL

  3. Anonymous says:

    Corbyn reminds me of Trump. Saying what he thinks people wants to hear not realising that people couldn’t care less. They both like the sound of their own voice.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Corbyn is just a clown playing to a very select and totally meaningless audience. The majority of the population of the UK (I’m one of them) couldn’t give a toss about offshore tax havens because the real taxation problem is that our EU ‘partners’ are, with Corbyn’s support, screwing us blind.

    • Anonymous says:

      The poster shows the sort of ignorance prevalent in the anti-EU groupings. It is a popular view point for those with limited education frustrated at their own mediocrity. Anti-EU types in the UK are the equivalent demographic of Trump supporters in the US.

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