MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed

MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling for Mitt Romney’s Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed, rounding off a disastrous week for the Republican candidate.

We’ve got a question for you Mitt, about your tax affairs, ya weirdo

 

Mitt Romney’s week from Hell is about to get worse. On Saturday he was trounced by Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina Primary; tomorrow he will reveal his tax returns for 2010, a move he has been forced into; and now Westminster MPs are calling for his Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed.


As Left Foot Forward reported last week:

Frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney has been under fire over in the United States for not being entirely open about his tax arrangements – and it is clear why.

The former Massachusetts Governor stashes an awful lot of his wealth and income away from the yes of the American Treasury and in the Cayman Islands – international tax haven and overseas British territory, or in old-fashioned language, a colony of the British Empire.

The House of Commons Early Day Motion (pdf) on “Tax Havens, transparency and the top 1%” states:

“This House notes the OECD and G20’s identification of the role of tax havens by wealthy corporations in fuelling the global economic crisis from 2009 onwards; is alarmed by reports that US former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is also using the Cayman Islands, a British territory, to avoid paying the same tax rate as other US citizens; is concerned about the continued use of tax havens by the top 1% in the US and UK to avoid paying the correct tax in their own country, particularly at a time when living standards are being squeezed and services lost for ordinary working people in many Western economies; and calls on the UK government to introduce urgent legislation to help close tax havens and increase transparency so that the very richest pay their fair share of tax in their respective countries and enable governments worldwide to invest more in jobs and growth.”

The Early Day Motion has been proposed by former treasury select committee member John Cryer, Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead.

He told Left Foot Forward:

“As a former member of the Treasury select committee, I think it is a disgrace that the Cayman Islands, a tax haven, can enable wealthy corporations and individuals such as Mitt Romney and others in the wealthiest 1% to avoid tax and still be cloaked in secrecy. Meanwhile all across the western world, hard-working people are seeing their living standards and take-home pay stagnate or reduced.

“It reminds me of President Kennedy’s comment in his inaugural speech, ‘pay any price, bear any burden’. Except it’s hard-working, modestly paid majority who are bearing that burden.”

With the Primary race set to drag on long into the Spring, this renewed scrutiny of his tax affairs is the last thing Romney needs; with Romney’s team even denying the Cayman Islands are a tax haven and more scrutiny of how the murky offshore world works, tax could become a recurring problem for Team Romney.

See also:

The World Outside Westminster – Oh, CarolinaTom Rouse, January 22nd 2012

The British Empire – subsidising Republican presidential candidates since 2007Daniel Elton, January 19th 2012

$3.1 trillion lost to tax evasion globally; cost to Britain: £69.9 billionShamik Das, November 25th 2011

Taking on the tax havensChris Jordan, October 16th 2011

Exclusive: 98 of the FTSE 100 companies are addicted to tax havensAsha Tharoor, October 11th 2011

39 Responses to “MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed”

  1. Jack Irvine

    Cayman Islands – briefing note

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/01/mps-call-for-mitt-romney-tax-haven-to-be-closed/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5431882/MPs-expenses-Anne-Cryer-and-son-John-both-claimed-for-flat-owned-by-her-daughter.html

    So British MP John Cryer, jumping on the anti Mitt Romney bandwagon, thinks the Cayman Islands is a “tax haven cloaked in secrecy” and wants it closed down. That’s a nice way to refer to fiercely loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen.

    Mr Cryer is clearly unaware that Cayman Islands laws encourage full tax cooperation with US and UK authorities. Cayman’s positive moves on transparency have been recognised by he OECD Global Forum which focuses on tax information exchange.

    Of course Mr Cryer, despite having been a member of the UK Treasury Select Committee, has a fascinating (and confusing) record with finances as The Daily Telegraph graphically outlined during their ground breaking investigation into MP’s expenses. Perhaps this explains why he can’t grasp how the Cayman islands operates.

    Jack Irvine
    UK Adviser to Cayman Finance

    Jack Irvine
    Executive Chairman
    Media House International Ltd
    London: 020 7710 0020
    Edinburgh: 0131 247 7520
    Glasgow: 0141 220 6040
    Mobile: 07860 457 456
    http://www.mediahouse.co.uk

  2. alan biley

    No direct taxation is imposed on residents and Cayman Islands companies. There are no taxes on profits, capital gains, income or any withholding taxes charged to foreign investors. There are no estate or death duties payable on Cayman Islands real estate or other assets held in the Cayman Islands. (Wikipedia, for what its worth)

    Still, I reckon its definitely the fact that Cayman Islands isn’t treated as a tax haven by anyone. I strongly suspect that its the full tax cooperation with US and UK authorities that encourages Mitt Romney or Coca-Cola, Intel, Oracle, News Corporation for that matter, to register subsidiaries there.

    Thanks for clarifying the situation Mr Irvine. We all massively trust your perspective on things.

  3. Nick

    I see that Media House is so committed to transparency that they are not registered as a lobbyist with either the APPC or the PRCA, despite advertising their lobbying and PR services on the front page of their own website.

    Mind you, given that Jack Irvine made his name as a News International exec and Sun hack, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised.

  4. AmericanAdvisor

    I find the politicos are rather generous in their praise and condemnation of those viewed as opponents. Before one condemns anyone for being wise enough to seek the so-called “tax havens”, one must first ask how they came to be in the 1st place. They exist simply because the world’s powerful (that very much includes the politicos) wish them to. I would fathom that many politicos are rather nervous with this Romney “witch hunting” for his (or anyone else’s) off-shore accounts. They are as popular with the political masses as they are with the corporate and wealthy of all nations.

    Second, Americans need to understand that the US is considered one of the top 5 tax havens in the world, just behind the UK, Hong Kong and such. But if you were to poll the average American, the vast majority would have no clue that such a luxury to non-Americans even existed. Where is the hypocrisy now?

  5. Jack Irvine

    Dear Alan
    Tut tut. Do your homework. Media House were founder member of ASPA,the Association for Scottish Public Affairs. http://www.scottishpublicaffairs.org.uk

  6. Jack Irvine

    Dear Nick
    Tut tut. Do your homework. Media House were founder member of ASPA,the Association for Scottish Public Affairs. http://www.scottishpublicaffairs.org.uk

  7. Rosie

    From this afternoon, MPs call for Romney’s Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed: http://t.co/9Zqqj1Ez #US2012

  8. Diane Hain

    From this afternoon, MPs call for Romney’s Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed: http://t.co/9Zqqj1Ez #US2012

  9. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd From this afternoon, MPs call for Romney’s Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed: http://t.co/PvzbDkPZ #US2012

  10. Shamik Das

    From this afternoon, MPs call for Romney’s Cayman Islands tax haven to be closed: http://t.co/7dcHa0d9 #US2012 on @leftfootfwd

  11. Lije

    Uh-OH!!! MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/kNmmQE9A via @addthis LOL!! #topprog #p2

  12. Morphus Bfly

    Uh-OH!!! MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/kNmmQE9A via @addthis LOL!! #topprog #p2

  13. PlanetPOV.com

    RT @leftfootfwd: MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed http://t.co/Hl3qrQsD

  14. Susan D

    RT @leftfootfwd: MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed http://t.co/wQEvdwFq

  15. Newsbot9

    The UK has it’s own tax havens, the Tories need to shut up until they close the ones THEY control down.

  16. Edward English

    UK MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed http://t.co/SxnNuHx3 #GOP

  17. neilrfoster

    HSBC is closing 20,000 accounts in the taxhaven the Cayman Island. Why won't Mitt Romney close his? http://t.co/TcI51weU

  18. neilrfoster

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  19. Richard Murphy

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  20. TescoValueIlluminati

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  21. Patricia

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  22. Sean

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  23. Pucci D

    @RichardJMurphy HSBC to close 20,000 Cayman Islands bank accounts – yet Mitt Romney won't close his! http://t.co/TcI51weU

  24. elizabeth westgaph

    RT @leftfootfwd: MPs call for Romney’s tax haven to be closed http://t.co/tEdevwGd

  25. Look Left – IMF warnings, economic non-solutions and Romney’s financial skeletons | Left Foot Forward

    […] have come under attack – see The World Outside Westminster below for more, and see our report here from January on moves by Parliamentarians to have Romney’s tax haven […]

  26. BernheimKY

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