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Newsview :Bermuda reacts to Miliband tax warning
« on: February 09, 2015, 12:00:07 AM »



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Bermuda reacts to Miliband tax warning

Bermuda golf course viewBermuda has one of the world's most prosperous economies  thanks to the flourishing offshore finance industry


Bermuda has said it is "surprised and disappointed" to be included a list of places Ed Miliband says Labour would target in a tax avoidance clampdown.


Mr Miliband wants British territories such as Bermuda to be internationally blacklisted if they do not compile public registers of offshore firms.


But Bermuda's government said it had operated a central registry of companies since the 1940s.


Premier Michael Dunkley said it remained open to dialogue with the UK.


Mr Miliband has sent a letter to the leaders of the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat. He also contacted the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.


He said that - under a Labour government - they would have six months to compile a register or face being put on an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development list of "tax havens" list, incurring sanctions.

  'Fraud fight'

A statement from Bermuda's government said it had noted Mr Miliband's comments, but insisted it was an international leader in the registration of companies.


Mr Dunkley said: "The government of Bermuda remains open to continuing dialogue with the UK government, the UK opposition, and all other interested parties, in sharing best practice across borders in areas of corporate transparency, and the fight against fraud and crime.


"We would also remind Mr Miliband of Bermuda's strategic economic contribution to the UK, which includes direct and indirect employment in the UK of 100,000 people, as well as our role as a global hub for the reinsurance and insurance industries, providing the critical underwriting required for damage arising from natural disasters and terrorist events."


  Michael DunkleyBermuda's Premier Michael Dunkley said the territory was important to the UK's economy


Labour argues overseas territories and crown dependencies could help to stop or stem tax avoidance by showing tax authorities who is diverting money into companies there.


But Conservative Treasury minister David Gauke said Mr Miliband's plan would not work because other OECD countries such as the US, France and Germany did not have a public central register.


Leaders from the G20 - made up of 19 of the world's largest economies plus the European Union - have previously agreed to impose sanctions against jurisdictions on the OECD blacklist.

Source: Bermuda reacts to Miliband tax warning

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