Feb 09 2012

Don’t call Monaco or Jersey tax havens. It hurts their feelings

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Following the end of the trial of UK football manager Harry Redknapp, and his acquittal on charges of tax evasion, I’ve got an article in The Independent today entitled Why Monaco is the offshore choice for the elite (just don’t call it a tax haven). I would rather it were entitled ‘an’ offshore choice rather than ‘the’ offshore choice, but never mind. I note:

Like all tax havens, Monaco loudly denies what it is. It is “a great misconception” [to call it a tax haven], huffed its ambassador to the UK recently. Nonsense. It’s just that nobody likes being called a tax haven.

As I’ve noted before, they all deny that they are tax havens. Take a look at this –  it’s laughable. And the abusive and corrupt little British tax haven of Jersey pulled this exact same trick yesterday

Jersey’s new foreign minister says that there should be regular visits abroad to ‘ram home’ the message that the Island is not a tax haven.

Hilarious (or it would be, if this weren’t all so serious). I wonder what tactics the ‘ramming home’ involves in Brussels, where they have a lobbying office, for instance. The foreign minister in question, Philip Bailhache, got wealthy through his family law firm that specialised in, err, corporate tax avoidance. Nothing illegal about corporate tax avoidance, by definition, but it does once again point to the routine and deliberate efforts by those in power in Jersey to mix up the interests of the finance sector with the interests of the island as a whole.

In this context, take a look at this astonishing quote from Appleby, a leading offshore law firm and member of the so-called Offshore Magic Circle, and which counts Bailhache and Bailhache in its corporate ancestry:

“Appleby Partners have been members of the elected legislatures, and ministers in governments in a number of our offshore financial centres. Members of the firm have gone on not only to political office but also in a number of centres (Bermuda, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Cayman) to senior judicial office.”

From the veritable horse’s mouth. In these places, the conflicts of interests are so rife that they feel this is quite normal – they feel brazen enough to boast about it!

All part of the political capture of these jurisdictions by the offshore financial services industry.

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