Tory MP Dominic Grieve further stoked outrage at government inaction over tax havens today, by claiming they had a duty towards “encouraging” off-shore banking in overseas British territories.

His comments were made to Radio 4’s Today programme in a debate over the leak of the Panama Papers, and the role played by the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in making tax avoidance easier.

The BVI are an overseas territory located in the Caribbean, and listed as among the top tax havens in the world in the Panama Papers leak.

The British government has the power to demand they stop offering a haven to British citizens, and citizens of other countries, so they can avoid paying tax.

But Dominic Grieve MP, speaking on the Today programme this morning, claimed this wouldn’t be right, because apparently it would hurt jobs there.

The fact that tax avoidance leads to job losses in Britain didn’t seem to bother him.

In the interview he claimed that if people wished to relocate to tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, that is a “legitimate thing”.

If we’re going to destroy the economy of the British Virgin islands, which is because we prevent them from providing banking services at all, then we’re going to destroy the livelihood of its inhabitants.

So, for those reasons I think the  government has a responsibility towards encouraging overseas terroritories to find legitimate ways of economic development, and the financial sector is undoubtedly such a legitimate method.

This is utterly staggering excuse for inaction.

BVI’s economy depends more on travel and tourism in fact, the opaque tax regime primarily benefits outsiders not local residents.


Listen to the whole interview here



The Tories are utterly shameless


  1. Jonathan Wilson says:

    Using the same Tory logic, we should also leave drugs cartels alone else we will “destroy their livelihoods”.
    Leave gun runners alone, else we will “destroy their livelihoods”.
    Leave bank robbers alone, else we will “destroy their livelihoods”.
    Leave protection racketeers alone, else we will “destroy their livelihoods”.
    Leave… well you get the idea.

  2. Daley Gleephart says:

    “I am determined that the UK must not become a safe haven for corrupt money from around the world. We need to stop corrupt officials or organised criminals using anonymous shell companies to invest their ill-gotten gains in London property, without being tracked down … I want to ensure that all this money is clean money. There is no place for dirty money in Britain …. That is my message to foreign fraudsters: London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash. The challenge I am laying down for every country today is to root out the rot of corruption – to ensure transparency over what your own companies are doing; require transparency for foreign companies in your country too and work with us to spread this approach to transparency around the world.” – Cameron. Epistle to the Singaporians.
    Note that Sajid Javid is paving the way to sell HM Land Registry. It’s difficult enough to get data from HMLR about foreign ownership of property in the UK. It will be impossible after privatisation.

  3. Rich people will take themselves off shore. Well good. Bye bye see you later.
    Oh and you can forget about sending your kids to Eton or coming back for Royal
    Ascot. The minute you step back in this country you will have to pay what you owe

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