Cameron Invites Territories To Pre-G8 Meeting

June 5, 2013

David_Cameron_officialBritish Prime Minister David Cameron has asked senior ministers of ten overseas territories and crown dependencies – including Bermuda – to London on the eve of this month’s summit meeting of the eight largest industrialised nations to sign an international agreement to share tax information.

Britain’s “Guardian” newspaper reported that Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Anguilla, Montserrat, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man will be invited to commit to an  Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development [OECD] convention to give mutual assistance in tax matters.

The move was sparked — in part — by an international outcry over revelations that Google funnels profits from its British operations  through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda — with the company paying an effective rate of less than one per cent

Mr. Cameron [pictured] has said the issue of tax avoidance by multinational corporations will feature prominently at the June 17–18 Group of Eight [G8] summit of leading industrialised nations.

The G8 comprises of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Last month the Prime Minister sent a letter to those British overseas territories and crown dependencies which maintain large financial services sectors — including Bermuda – asking them to “get their house in order” when it came to companies operating in their jurisdictions which exploit loopholes in international tax codes.

In his response to Mr. Cameron, Bermuda Premier Craig Cannonier said the island is “recognised internationally for its integrity and transparency as a centre for legitimate international business.”

And on Monday [June 3], Finance Minister Bob Richards told the Reuter news agency that Bermuda is not to blame for companies such as Google using local subsidiaries to shelter billions of dollars from U.S. and European tax authorities.

Mr. Richards said the island has not intentionally facilitated such profit shifting and gains little from the Bermuda-registered affiliates.

“Bermuda is not a tax haven,” he told Reuters. “We didn’t pass a law to say that the Googles of this world don’t get taxed.”

Mr. Richards said it was impractical for Bermuda to change its tax rules to stop corporate profit shifting and that it is the responsibility of other countries to tackle the situation.

The UK Prime Minister and his Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne are reportedly still unsure over how far they will press the G8 on measures to make it easier to reveal owners of companies and assets, with the US and Canada resistant.

Mr. Cameron, along with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, plans to chair a tax and transparency conference on the weekend before the G8 summit, looking at the possibility of the dependencies signing up to the OECD convention on Saturday, June 15.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Truth (Original) says:

    New rule- If you don’t have your own affairs in order with respect to tax issues (UK, US et al), leave the smaller territories alone.

    • Caffeine free says:

      could not agree with you more Truth!

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Ditto…Dear Mr. Cameron…sort your own affairs out first before you go calling out others to do the same…HYPOCRITE!!!

  3. Mr. Cameron does need to sort out his own affairs in the U.K, but we is this little drop in the ocean better be paying close attention.

    These talks about dealing with offshore destinations that help mega companies evade taxation has been on the table for years, now the noose is tightening.

    Just a few weeks ago we saw the likes of two people in the U.S. making statements before the senate and congress, now we see Mr. Cameron in the U.K., so is this all scare tactics or something major brewing. I say Bermuda buckle your seat belts because pay day for you may be sooner then you think.

    For to long we have prostituted ourselves in this country raking in the Billions, hand over fist. while at the same time of having the prosperity of the wealth and riches flow through these shores, many took a delight in exploiting our own.

    Thus you have the high cost of living and folk that cant even afford to live in these islands anymore and homes being lost by the hundreds and no answer in sight. the grocery stores robbing us blind, hotels that are out priced and goods and services in this country that the prices are just plain ridiculous.

    Yet with all the suffering we are facing there are those that have and continue to rape our people bare, even to the tune of having immigrants working in areas that a person with little to no education can do, so NO I DONT FEEL SORRY OR COMPASSION, for the greed we see in this country, but my heart bleeds for those that don’t have a clue to how they will survive the next year.

    This is the real deal for more hen half the population in this country and that should be an alarming fact that is kept at the fore front. I look forward to the day when the loop hole is close and the companies that are here is forced back to their mother land.

    All because then we will truly see who is Bermudian and willing to stay on board the ship and be our brothers keeper, The only thing that will sustain us in this country, is the one thing that has kept us all down through the years.

    That is the fact that we are a country that believes that there is no higher name on earth, then that of the name of Jesus Christ and it is in Him that we move and have our being. so it is in Him that we believe to bring us through, and I make no apologies to no one as none of the other religions can do you no good.

  4. PLP Policy Maker says:

    After we tell them to sort out their own affairs first, then we should go independent and exile all non Christians including Christians with non Christian tendencies!

  5. waitasecond says:

    We have never been under attack to this extent before and the damage will be long-lasting. We are lucky to have someone as smart and articulate as Bob Richards (and ethical too – you would not find him on the boondoggle jet like those 3 mugs)but this is a battle we cannot win. The strategy must be to negotiate terms of surrender that do the least damage to Bermuda. The people who think we can point the finger back at the G8 or resolve this by going independent are seriously out-of-touch with the realities of today’s world. Bermuda can survive this but things are never going to be the same. The tragedy is that the OBA may lose power due to circumstances beyond their control and we end up with one more PLP government to destroy things for good.

  6. Graeme Outerbridge says:

    I think the English are being inconsistent. First close down the Golden Mile in the City of London where huge free tax free deals are done just down from 10 Downing Street. Bermuda has it’s own tax system and does not need to change it on the whim of a Conservative Government.I am with Bob on this one.Maybe it is time for the Mouse to roar join the non-aligned movement and become Independent.^^

  7. Alvin Williams says:

    Nice diplomatic language on the part of the British prime minister; but in reality Bermuda and the rest of the British oveseas territories have been call over to London to be read the riot act over the question of low tax regimes. If it was just the British than maybe we could ride it out. I mean what could they do to us; applied ecnomic sanctions; take away the British governor; take away Bermuda’s British citizenship and sent all Bermudians over there in England home. But it is not just the British; it most of the developed world; facing massive budget short falls; they have decided that there is no room or role for low tax regimes like Bermuda and they will begin the process of squeezing us out. I conpare it to state sponsored privacy; Britian like other nations
    once saw it in thier interests; when it was no longer in thier interests
    they dismantle it. Low tax regimes in my opinion are facing the same fate.

    • Alvin I agree with your statement, near the end you said you compare it to state run privacy, do you mean, and i think you do, piracy……and even if we were an independant nation we would be in the same situation, us against the G-8, and like you said we are facing the same fate……which we will know about very soon after the G8 conference mid June..


  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    There is an Economic Hurricane on the horizon an it has little old Bermuda in it’s crosshairs. Like my “favorite” Premier once said…”This too shall pass!”

  9. Voice of Reason says:

    We have little choice in the matter, we are being summoned to give an account of the business we do – this calls for a bipartisanship approach – we must speak with one voice….