UK Labour Leader: ‘Writing To Put You On Notice’

February 7, 2015

UK Opposition Leader Ed Miliband is reported to have sent a letter to Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies saying that within 6 months of the election of Labour government, they will be required to produce a publicly accessible central register of beneficial ownership.

“If any Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency does not meet this deadline, we will ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] to put them on the OECD’s tax haven blacklist,” said the Labour Leader in advance of the UK General Election in May.

Noting that Bermuda established a framework over 70 years ago requiring persons incorporating in Bermuda to provide central authorities with information on the proposed ultimate beneficial owner of a business, Finance Minister Bob Richards has previously pointed out that “there is currently no requirement in the United Kingdom for this information to be filed with a UK central authority.”

The Minister said said that consultation with the industry concluded there is “overwhelming support for Bermuda’s present disclosure regime,” and that Bermuda should not move to the new model of regulation until its adoption by Canada, the UK and USA.

“Moreover, to do so without simultaneous similar action by competing jurisdictions would put Bermuda at a significant competitive disadvantage and severely damage our economy,” said Minister Richards.

The Opposition PLP have already signaled they are in “full support” of the position Minister Richards has taken, and other jurisdictions, such as the Cayman, have also adopted the same position.

The text of the letter sent to the Territories, as reported by Labour.co.uk, is below:

More than 18 months ago, David Cameron announced that you and he had reached agreement on increasing transparency around the ownership of companies based in your jurisdictions. This was to reduce the opportunity for them to be used for tax avoidance, evasion and other illegal activity.

He said that you and he would focus on beneficial ownership, and that you would publish the true owners of shell companies based in your jurisdictions. He claimed that this was a “very positive step forward” ahead of the G8 meeting in June 2013, and followed it up with a letter saying that

“Beneficial ownership and public access to a central register is key to improving the transparency of company ownership and vital to meeting the urgent challenges of illicit finance and tax evasion”.

However, since then no Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency has produced a publicly accessible central register of beneficial ownership. And, despite his initial enthusiasm, David Cameron has done nothing to ensure that they are produced.

Ahead of the General Election in May, I am writing to put you on notice that a Labour government will not allow this situation of delay and secrecy to continue. Labour will act on tax avoidance where the Tories will not.

All UK Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies will have to produce a publicly accessible central register of beneficial ownership within six months of the election of a Labour government.

If any Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency does not meet this deadline, we will ask the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] to put them on the OECD’s tax haven blacklist.

Yours sincerely,

Ed Miliband

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Comments (56)

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  1. fred says:

    How very dare he! Oh, the hypocrisy!

    • Mockingjay says:

      The chickens come home to roost.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      My response to this would be, we will follow the G8′s lead, once they have established public registries, then we can do so. We would also be able to do so with greater ease, as we already have that infomation on file, unlike most of the G8. Should the UK seek to blacklist us, my response would be to file to have the UK blacklisted too, as we already have a system in place to allow authorities in many other jurisdictions to access financial information on their citizens residing here, upon request, while the UK could not do the same.

    • Lebron says:

      Er, you aren’t even in Government pal!

  2. Maddog says:

    Bob Richards and the Oba must go.. First they ran the country out of money…Now we are going on the black list by England.. The Dunkley administration must go!!!!

    • Sky Pilot says:

      Maddog is another plp paid blogger that tries to re write Bermuda’s recent history!

      Do you homework first before you run your mouth and look like the fool you really are..the plp’s 14 year or spend and terror ran Bermuda out of money!

    • Yo mad dog says:

      With respect I am pretty certain that it’s not the OBA admin that ran the country out of money and drove IB away but the UK a stance on this issue is hypocritical.

      Let’s fix this massive debt overhang which didn’t happen in two year.

      Just sayin

      Have a Eased weekend.

    • Just wondering says:

      Why should the OBA go??
      For refusing to put in place a system in Bermuda that the UK itself doesn’t have??
      And what would the PLP do?? Give in without so much as a whimper??
      Not an impressive position if you are trying to promote the PLP as a party capable of Governing.

      • charles says:

        Just Wondering / Franklin Jr.,

        This country will go Independent first, by PLP or OBA,
        rather than bow down to further British ” do as I say”.
        It’ll be Quo Fata Ferunt time for real!

        • CBA says:

          Won’t matter if we are independent or not. If the ‘big’ countries get together and demand things, the little countries will have to follow.

          If they decided to put Bermuda on a bad list, there’s nothing we can do.

    • Franklin jr says:

      soooo, the PLP would just bow to massa?

    • Bermudian says:

      the PLP ran us out of money just in case you had amnesia

    • De Winna says:

      Hey’ – are you High or Drunk’ – the OBA has only been in Govt. going on for two and a half years – its what happened before they got in that you seem to have no knowlege about. – personly I’m no fan of either political Party but this stuff your talking makes people
      think that you have no real knowlege about politics in Bermuda. — but I’m going to try and help you with the basic’s’
      The UBP voted out 1998 and left a got pot of money [ a surplus ] – the PLP was voted in, Jennifer Smith became there first PLP Premier
      and spent a good portion of it living the lavish life, Alex Scott was the next premier who tried to preserve it, a splitter group of the PLP didn’t like his leadership style and had the infamous Dr.Brown became the next Premier and Spent up everything, chased away a good percentage of Overseas Companys thus reducing the buying power [ the consumer ] by 10 -15% – from this the retail sector of Bermuda began to decline, than he borrowed a lot of money putting Bermuda in Debt ,Next came Premier Paula Cox who was a very eloquent person but just could not recover the island from a the wild spending spree policys of the former PLP Premiers.- thus
      The OBA was voted in.– with the promise that they could recover and rebuild the economy.
      now do you have it.– the only thing you really can accuse the OBA of that its progress has been to slow and they hav’nt been
      focused at times.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Wow, Maddog. Talk about rewriting history.

    • stunned,,, says:

      surely Maddog is afflicted with rabies and is hallucinating to write something as delusional that the OBA ran the country out of money…

    • High road says:

      You should go

  3. Sky Pilot says:

    Ed Miliband is farting in the wind and no one pays any attention to him

  4. Family Man says:

    Labour has to get elected first.

  5. empera says:

    Looks like Mommy wants answers..soon shes going to want more n more n more..scarey times bermuda.

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

    Ed’s a long time in the khazi, must be ‘avin a Barclay’s!

  7. Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown says:

    Hmmmmmm……this could cause some opinions to change regarding Independence for the colonies!

    • Creamy says:

      No. It just shows how Labour Parties are a bunch of idiots.

    • Accurate says:

      And as a mighty independent nation we could thumb are noses at the rest of the world and do exactly as we please without a single consequence – yes?

    • It's about time! says:

      You wish!

    • jt says:

      Only if you don’t understand the issue very well and/or allow your judgements to be clouded by ulterior motives….hmmmm…..

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Well, only if you were stupid.

  8. aceboy says:

    Hypocrisy of the first order!

  9. ImJustSayin says:

    Just another ploy to put the squeeze on finance ministers and all the territory’s . Trying to break us…

  10. tom cooke says:

    Last time I voted in the UK Maggie was in power… now Ed comes a calling……get lost…

    • Mockingjay says:

      You mean Maggie the Union buster.

      • Kangoocar says:

        Yes that’s correct, wasn’t she a GREAT leader??? Britain did very well after she BROKE the unions, something we actually need to do here as well for the betterment of the whole of Bermuda!!!!!!n

  11. mixitup says:

    And everyone relishes this passport..
    When will Bermuda have balls enough to flip the UK the bird..

    • Anbu says:

      When we have exports and stuff to actually support us. Go independent and then what? How will we sustain ourselves huh? Onions? Easter lilies maybe?! Keep pushing independence. All your bermuda money will mean absolutely nothing. End up with an exchange rate like jamaica. Some poeple r just too thick in the head

      • Mockingjay says:

        So every Independent country are doing poor?

        • Stephen says:

          no, it just when a country is successful they generally have some source of income/ profit. Bermuda has zero valuable exports thus making our economy worthless without the support of the UK

  12. Vote for Me says:

    it will be interesting to see a unified, bi-partisan response and approach to the blatant interference by the UK.

  13. Tree Hugger says:

    Dear OBAers whats up ? Surely your good relationships with your cousins in whitehall and maida vale can resolve this for the rest of us serfs in bermuda

  14. Ringmaster says:

    Typical sabre rattling from an embattled leader trying to appeal to his voter base. Ed Milibrand is fighting to retain leadership of the UK Labour Party, and neither he nor the Party are popular at present, and is already under fire for his suggestions of a mansion tax. First he has to remain as leader then win the election and neither are odds on. The Overseas Territories have a strong alliance, stronger than being individual Independent countries. Respond in strong terms and the matter will be quickly dropped. After all Bermuda has all those TIA’s to point to.

  15. navin johnson says:

    Thank you Maddog for giving everyone a reminder of what the majority of Bermuda thinks about the PLP…..Afraid that the way of the world now is openness with regard to financial transactions in both the US and UK…they want the tax dollars so it is the way of the future….not that everyone is not already aware of companies like Apple and Google to name a few who funnel money through tax havens to boost the bottom line via tax avoidance….

  16. Dr. the Hon. Ewart F. Brown says:
    February 7, 2015
    “Hmmmmmm……this could cause some opinions to change regarding Independence for the colonies!”

    Note:
    As one can see for themselves the Progressive Labour Party totally agree with the One Bermuda Alliance on standing firm as quoted in the article by Minister Bob Richards

  17. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    each and every one of you bermudians were raised too dependent to be independent…haiti would look good compared to bermuda…

  18. And the new miss universe is miss Vega from Colombia….Now….this is something to adhere to…

  19. RM says:

    Millipede is a fool and this can simply be ignored. What is he going to do? Add the UK to its own black list at the same time as it targets Bermuda and the other crown territories? The UK doesn’t even meet the standards that he is demanding and nor do most of the OECD countries.

  20. Oh,I see now says:

    I expect nothing less from the heh heh…… Smother Land.

  21. Oh,I see now says:

    I will think of Ed the next time I light a cigarette in front of my kid while also telling him I will kill him if I catch him smoking.

  22. Oh,I see now says:

    Keepin’ it Real!…4Real! says:
    February 8, 2015
    each and every one of you bermudians were raised too dependent to be independent…haiti would look good compared to bermuda…

    I would agree we’ve allowed ourselves the comfort of the Blue Pill in the past but with $&@T like this the Red Pill begins to look very appetizing indeed.

  23. Oh,I see now says:

    He even looks like a tool heh heh.

  24. Rights for All says:

    Odd that the issue of Independence is raised. Anyone with half a brain can see that the PLP closed that door for the forseable future by crippling Bermuda with $2bn + debt and a bloated public sector. Think debt service costs are high now? They would easily double assuming anyone would lend money. Bermuda is now more dependent than ever on the UK and other foreign assistance.
    Ed Milliband threatens to run to the OECD and report us. Scary – not.

  25. Coffee says:

    Ed’s not afraid to close a loophole if it benefits his people !

  26. Alvin Williams says:

    Why are we surprise; we have been here before. We are a country that has not learn from history.
    Bermuda once had a salt trade where we raked salt to be sold in the world market; yes it was based on being half slave and half free; but it form a major part of our maritime trade and dominated the Bermuda economy for a hundred years before the British took it out of our hands and turn it over to the Bahamas which of course was another part of the than British empire. that was Bermudian interests being compromise by a British colonial veto. now tell me what has changed?

    • Chaos Theory says:

      Alvin, I think you will find that Bermuda had a little bit of a “war” with the Bahamas over the Turks & Caicos Islands, and Bermuda lost. That is why we lost the salt trade down there.

    • Yahoo says:

      Gibberish from Alvin, as usual.

  27. Bein’ in the black “is” better than being in the red is it not?

  28. Yes I says:

    The ‘Tories’?? HAhaha..Great start to my Monday morning.