Why I can’t take Osborne or Cameron seriously when they promise to ‘wage war’ on tax evasion & avoidance

From John Urry’s Offshoring, location 1109:

Cameron’s father, Ian Cameron, indeed made his fortune through tax avoidance. He took advantage in the 1980s of the new climate of less-regulated investment after Margaret Thatcher abolished exchange controls in Britain in 1979. This enabled money to be moved in and out of the country without it being taxed or controlled by the UK government. Ian Cameron established and directed investment funds located within various tax havens. He became chairman of Close International Asset Management, a multimillion-pound investment fund based in Jersey; a senior director of Blairmore Holdings Inc., registered in Panama City and currently worth £25m; and a shareholder in Blairmore Asset Management, based in Geneva. Blairmore Holdings was established in 1982. The lengthy prospectus written in 2006, designed to attract high net worth investors with at least US$100,000 to buy shares, was explicit as to how investments would avoid UK taxation. It stated: ‘The fund is not liable to taxation on its income or capital gains as long as such income or capital gains are not derived from sources allocated within the territory of the Republic of Panama.’ The fund was not subject to UK corporation tax or income, and under Panamanian law it did not pay tax derived from income generated in other parts of the world. Ian Cameron’s wealth was estimated on his death in 2009 as £10m. These tax-dodging companies located in various tax havens thus helped to finance David Cameron’s ‘posh’ education and hence his progress to becoming British PM

1 Comment

  1. This is no different (apart from the bearer shares) to the large numbers of totally respectable unit trusts and OEICs, in which ordinary UK residents are free to, and do, invest. They pay no, or very low, income or capital gains tax in the jurisdiction in which they are registered (e.g. Jersey, Luxembourg, Dublin), but UK residents pay income tax on any income received and capital gains tax on any capital gain on sale of the shares. The effect is simply to defer the payment of tax. This is only marginally different from UK registered unit trusts, which also pay no capital gains tax.

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