More than 90 private finance initiative projects have been moved into offshore tax havens, according to a report by the European Services Strategy Unit, a think-tank highly critical of the PFI and which maintains a database of the projects.
The FT notes UK MPs accusing PFI firms in the current inquiry of “ripping off the taxpayer” and calling the whole, tax-dodging business “a racket.” HSBC Infrastructure’s PFI deals, the newspaper notes, paid 100,000 tax on 38m in profits – tax rate of less than 0.3%.
“Ian Swales, a Liberal Democrat member of the committee, said so many deals had moved offshore “the working assumption should be that they will end up offshore.”
This is what’s increasingly happening in our globalised world. The working assumption in many sectors – particularly private equity – must be that the business is moved offshore.
And don’t forget: the banks are the biggest users of tax havens.