David Cameron: “Tax Haven” Label Is Not Fair

September 13, 2013 | 22 Comments

David_Cameron_officialBritain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said he does “not think it is fair” to refer to the Overseas Territories as tax havens, as “they have taken action to make sure that they have fair and open tax systems.”

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week, Mr Cameron 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.”

Jack Straw asked Mr Cameron about the tax and transparency conclusions of the G20, asking “does he agree that so long as Austria and Luxembourg refuse even to sign up to the EU tax guidelines, the work of the G20, welcome as it is, will be undermined from within the EU itself?”

Mr Cameron replied, “For many years, Luxembourg and Austria have held up progress on this issue. They have often tried to get round that by pointing to the overseas territories and Crown dependencies of the UK, which have now put their house in order, so we can turn back to Austria and Luxembourg.”

Mr Cameron’s comments come a few weeks after he held a meeting in London with all the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to discuss tax matters.

After the meeting, Finance Minister Bob Richards said he believes that Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are, to some extent, being used as “scapegoats and distractions from domestic policies and domestic policy failures.”

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

    Finally starting to talk some sense Mr. Cameron!

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  2. Bermewjan says:

    Good, good!

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  3. Winnie Dread says:

    So how long has this been, I'm talking about with regards to BDA, now it's staring them right in the face no running or hiding. We have been saying this from in the 70s and finally, finally common sense is prevailing. Bermuda has and have been moving with the tide from day one in making sure we were above board, now go pick on your fellow Europeans who are the biggest "Tax Havens" around, btw make sure you tell that to Uncle Sam.

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  4. sage says:

    Life ain't fair,although this label may not be fair that doesn't mean it isn't true.

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    • Hmmm says:

      It isn't true fool.

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      • Seeing Red says:

        It may not be true, but lets not kid ourselves, it WAS true, and while things have changed, its still not that far from the truth.

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        • not really says:

          Total taxation at all levels in Bermuda is about 20% of GDP. Total taxation at all levels in the US is about 28% of GDP.

          The thing that upsets those countries that label us a tax haven is that Bermuda does not levy a "profits tax" on corporate profits (we do have income tax but we don't call it that (we prefer payroll tax) that's only applicable to personal "earned income").

          Now maybe they can turn their attention to the world's largest, and best, tax haven. A little place called Delaware.

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  5. SpinCycle says:

    Bout time de guy stood up for us!

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  6. jt says:

    Wasn't it Walton that said we should have boycotted the meeting with Cameron?

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  7. abc says:

    only if walls spoke nada but ☺

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  8. Milton says:

    Were you all listening to his words? He did not 'stand up for us' he painted us with the same brush as all overseas territories. He says it is 'no longer' fair due to the most recent moves when the truth is that it wasn't fair to call Bermuda a tax haven long before the recent developments. I see only arrogance and gloating. What he is really saying is 'thank you for submitting, so now I won't call you a tax haven, are you happy slaves?' No Cameron, it's nor us who's just now putting our house in order, it's you just now putting your house in order and getting with the program. It was unjust for you to label us a tax haven. I wish you would have acknowledged that. But nonetheless I'm glad you've gotten with the programme. What have we given up though?

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  9. Concerned Citizen says:

    Ummmmmmm, we are a tax haven. The Premier doesn't know what self determination is, so he certainly can't speak on these matters. And yes, the UK has the largest tax haven in the world.....the CITY. My point is that there is nothing wrong with being a tax haven....it's called tax competition! All those folks abroad trying to shut down tax havens.....where do you think they manage their wealth? Ta duh......offshore!

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    • Mike Hind says:

      Here we go again. ALL the talking points. NONE of them backed up.
      Don't you get bored of talking about stuff you know nothing about?

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      • Concerned Citizen says:

        Mike Hind, trust me, all that I have said is a fact. Can you tell us about the City of London, it's role in global finance.? Who are the architects of offshore financial centers Mike? Connect the dots.....let's see if you can refute my points with facts? Did you here Bob Richards yesterday in parliament? Beyond that, explain what role privacy and secrecy play in the offshore world? I'm not against our core business, it is what it is. Btw, my point regarding the Premier was proven yesterday in parliament. I heard it on the radio, and then it was on the 7 pm news. It's not my opinion, the Premier is out of his depth. Bob Richards or Grant Gibbons are more capable on these matters. This is a Bermuda problem, not an Oba problem. So stop with the sock tail commentary. Btw, hahaha, tell us what role high end retail of jewels and ART(like on front street) plays in the offshore world? Hey Mike, some of us a TRAINED in compliance. Enough licks yet?

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    • Milton says:

      How could a tax haven share the tax information with other jurisdictions? Wouldn't that that be the exact opposite description of a 'haven'

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  10. Norris Alvin Williams says:

    The British are good at telling you what you want to hear; After all they have have hundreds of years of doing just that as one of the world's leading former colonial power. Self-determination is not a call for
    national independence? That statement by the OBA premier just proves how far this government is out in the open ocean without a clue where it is going when it comes to international affairs. I suggest the OBA leader read some accounts of independence struggles and than become aware that the use of the term self-determnination goes hand in hand with the demand of national independence. One more thing the British are never going to allow any of it's Overseas Territory to choose it's own governor. Just look at thier reaction when former PLP premier Ewart Browne attempted to get the than governor to alternate the weekly government/governor meetings by holding them between government house and the cabinet building. The British are jealous when it comes to holding on to thier imperial power. Look at all that land government house sits on which should be use for the benifit of the Bermudian people. Look how hard they are fighting to prevent Scotland from going independent. No they have our number; they know they are dealing with inexperience when it comes to understanding interenational affairs and our interests. I allways found it ironic that back in the days when Bermuda built it's own ships and conducted trade in Bermuda's own interests;even though it was a circumstance of being half-free and half slave those people had a clearer understanding of Bermuda national interests and how to act in that regard than we do today. No with respect to our low tax regime they will tell us what we want to hear only to mount another assault later on.

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