NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
Are tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) all they are cracked up to be?
That’s the question one has to ask after today’s response by the Isle of Man Treasury Minister to the CBC ‘Tax sham’ allegations.
Part of CBCs news report refers to attempts by the Canadian Revenue Authorities to get access to a list of persons using a ‘tax plan’ in the Isle of Man this has now become bogged down in the Canadian Courts.
The issue is further confused with talk of behind the scenes deals between the CRA and the company providing the ‘tax plan’ to settle the matter.
Eventually after several days the Manx government has commented basically to say ‘no comment’. (See link to Manx Radio report):
However, what Eddie Teare does say is that the Isle of Man has a TIEA (see link below) in place with Canada – that being the case why has this become such a big deal and why when CBC ‘pitched up’ on the Isle of Man did they, to put it bluntly, come up against a brick wall?
Perhaps both government and the finance industry were loath to talk to inquisitive reporters but hang on this is hardly The Sun or The Mirror (or their Canadian equivalent). This is ‘the National Broadcaster’ of a fellow Commonwealth country so you can expect responsible journalism. Why then did doors appear to be slammed in their face?
Fifteen years ago just as he was about to stand down as an MHK Sir Miles Walker, who arguably as Chief Minister presided over an attempt to clean up the dodgy financial reputation the Isle of Man had said it is critical that the Island does not take its hard-earned reputation as a well regulated financial centre for granted.
‘There are people out there who will use the generic terms “tax haven” and “offshore industry” in order to deflect attention from themselves and we have to be continually on our guard for that.’
He added that the government needed to be more proactive in combating bad press saying
‘We have to respond not only directly where we get criticism but we have to have an ongoing procedure in place where senior people both officers and politicians can have the ear of the media.
‘One of the things we are not very good at is promoting…We’ve got things to learn.’
He suggested senior politicians and officers should establish better relations with the press.
Perhaps instead of saying ‘no comment’ Eddie Teare should follow the Walker philosophy and invite CBC back and answer any questions they wish to put.
OECD TIEAs link;
Issued by: The Celtic News
THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues