Reprinted from the Financial Times Letters Section 10.2.
Sir, with his comments on the role of the overseas territories,
Labour leader Ed Miliband shows himself as more hopelessly out of
touch in relation to international tax avoidance than in relation
to domestic matters. In fact, the overseas territories have
maintained complete records on ultimate beneficial ownership to the
international gold standard set by the OECD for more than two
Quite what the OECD would make of Mr Miliband's threatened
report, given the OECD's own verification on the subject and
the Overseas Territories' commitment to the OECD Automatic
Reporting Standard, is a matter for conjecture and possible further
embarrassment. Nor, in the light of the unlimited powers to
undertake investigation of these beneficial owners granted by the
overseas territories to the Internal Revenue Service and HM Revenue
& Customs by treaty, does Mr Miliband's suggestion that the
"authorities" have been hampered in undertaking tax
investigations bear any relation to the reality.
OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria has stated that companies
cannot be blamed for taking advantage of lawful tax avoidance, and
indeed it is to domestic tax legislation on transfer pricing
(ironically based on the OECD model) that Mr Miliband should look
if he wishes to capture the "billions" to which he
An informed politician genuinely concerned about tax evasion and
tax avoidance as opposed to making populist soundbites should be
lauding the standards of transparency set by overseas territories
as the example to which other jurisdictions, notably the wholly
opaque US corporate centres of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada, should
now be held, and making a more details inquiry into the double tax
treaty abuses that are routinely adopted in the European
Cayman Islands Stock Exchange
George Town, Cayman Islands
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