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UK PM Says Dependent Territories Not Tax Havens

by Jason Gorringe,, London

13 September 2013

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stated publicly in the House of Commons that he does not think it is fair to refer to Jersey and other UK dependent territories as tax havens.

The Prime Minister's comments follow the progress made on tax transparency at the G8 and G20 summits, and come just weeks after the publication of an extensive report highlighting Jersey's overall value to the UK economy, which was prepared by the leading independent firm Capital Economics, on behalf of Jersey Finance, with support from the States of Jersey.

Addressing fellow Members of Parliament, Mr Cameron recognized the positive steps taken by Jersey and the other Crown dependencies. He said "I do not think it is fair any longer to refer to any of the overseas territories or Crown Dependencies as tax havens. They have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems. It is very important that our focus should now shift to those territories and countries that really are tax havens. The Crown dependencies and overseas territories, which matter so much – quite rightly – to the British people and Members have taken the necessary action and should get the backing for it."

Responding to the comments, Geoff Cook, CEO of Jersey Finance, said: "The comments from the Prime Minister are not only extremely welcome, they demonstrate that there is now a recognition and understanding at the highest level of the UK government, of the standards achieved by Jersey and the other Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories and also the value of Jersey to the UK, as a partner in international trade."

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, commented: "I am pleased that the Prime Minister has recognized the international efforts of Jersey and the other Crown dependencies in such robust terms. His words highlight the positive action that Jersey has taken to demonstrate its commitment to international transparency and cooperation. We have long maintained that we are not a tax haven and it is good to see this now endorsed by Mr Cameron.

"The Prime Minister's statement that the Crown dependencies matter so much to the British people is reinforced by the recent report by Capital Economics which has provided the most comprehensive picture yet of the interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship between Jersey and the UK, and shows how the Island's economy, driven by a robust and transparent financial services industry, supports jobs and investment in the UK."

TAGS: Finance | tax | investment | financial services | Jersey | G20 | standards | trade | services

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