May 03 2011

Britain outsources tax collection to criminal facilitators

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

That headline isn’t an exaggeration. It’s a statement of fact. This relates to something that the Financial Times has just described:

Britons with billions of pounds hidden in Switzerland will pay tax at 50 per cent under a groundbreaking deal that will legitimise their undeclared assets, according to a source familiar with negotiations between the Swiss and British governments.

Richard Murphy at Tax Research gives this grubby little deal the contempt it deserves. As he says:

“It’s not just a tacit acceptance of the limits to transparency.

And nor is it just blatant biased favouritism towards the criminals who have used Switzerland, and those who have assisted them in doing so.

It’s not even that it’s a massive slap in the face for honest British taxpayers who see those who have abused the rules walk away without penalty.

Worst of all, this deal outsources the collection of tax due in this country by British residents to another country. One that has a proven record of facilitating crime, and being utterly indifferent to it. And that has consciously and deliberately withheld information from other governments for decades.”

The last Labour government was bad enough. But now, along with things like this or this, it’s becoming remarkable how fast Britain’s coalition government has been moving to push the poor blighted country ever further offshore, granting its wealthest citizens and corporations ever more privileges.

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