Give Bahamas and other tax havens deadline to end tax secrecy

September 27, 2016 3:01 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Business Spokesperson Lorely Burt has called on Theresa May to clamp down on tax havens by setting them a deadline to open up their books, in the wake of revelations showing Amber Rudd was the director of two companies in the Bahamas.

The Lib Dems have demanded that secretive tax jurisdictions like the Bahamas be given a fixed deadline of April 2017 to end shady arrangements that allow companies to avoid paying billions of pounds of tax. This is exactly four years on since then Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to crack down on offshore tax havens at a G8 Summit.

All tax havens would be required to publish a public record of who really owns companies in their territory. If countries failed to comply, the Lib Dems say the UK should push for tough economic sanctions through the EU and OECD and exclude them from UK aid programmes like the Caribbean Prosperity Fund.

Baroness Lorely Burt said:

"In the wake of these damaging revelations, Theresa May must act now to show her government is serious about tackling tax avoidance.

"A good start would be to set a strict deadline by which offshore tax havens like the Bahamas have to open up their books.

"We have the tools to end tax secrecy at home and abroad, it's time this Tory government started using them instead of letting tax dodgers off the hook."