Tax Havens Review: independent we hope
The Government formally announced its independent review of tax havens today which was trailed in the Pre-Budget Report. This is a very positive move and I’m sure a lot of groups that normally get shut out of the closed world of tax policy lobbying will want to make submissions and give evidence. This world is usually only open to business associations and professional bodies although the TUC has managed to win some access for itself recently.
The review will be chaired by Michael Foot. No, not that Michael Foot; this Michael Foot! Foot is ex of the FSA and the Bank of England and is now Chairman of the UK wing of a global financial consultancy company called Promontory. Promontory say on their website:
… our client roster has grown to include banks of all sizes, securities firms, insurance companies, investment advisers, private equity firms, hedge funds, broker-dealers and exchanges—in short, financial companies of every stripe.
Hmmm. We’ll be looking for some early signs of independent mindedness from Mr. Foot to calm our nerves, I think. As Richard Murphy points out, the international mood is certainly not for half measures.