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Anthony Travers OBE, chairman of Cayman Finance

Cayman Finance chairman criticises “Tax Taliban”

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Anthony Travers, chairman of Cayman Finance, has criticised UK politicians and a group of activists he calls the “Tax Taliban.” 



Travers was addressing over 1,000 delegates at the IMAC Cayman Captive Forum 2010 held on Grand Cayman.
 
Travers’ targets included Labour MP Emma Reynolds who two weeks ago asked a question in the House of Commons where she appeared to demonstrate that she could not tell the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance.
 
“Tax evasion and tax avoidance,” she said “were unacceptable, so why had the new Government in the UK given up demands to introduce direct taxation in the Cayman Islands?”
 
Travers asked his international audience: “We agree tax evasion is unacceptable but we are clear that it is not permitted or enabled by Cayman legislation. So why does she raise it other than to seek to demonise?
 
“Tax avoidance is lawful and if Ms Reynolds finds it unacceptable she must amend UK law which of course she can’t because her party is in the minority although they had 13 years in power and apparently forgot to get round to it.”
 
Travers said the widespread negativity “is indicative of well organised and powerful public relations campaigns driven by onshore Treasury, supranational and domestic regulatory bodies.”
 
British politicians such as Reynolds and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and even US President Barack Obama are examples of politicians in G20 countries who, according to Travers, are “blame deflecting… and anxious to obfuscate the failures of their domestic regulatory systems… by suggesting that in some way it is the tax or regulatory system of the offshore financial centre that is at fault.”
 
Using the former British PM as an example Travers said: “The simple truth is that the regulatory problems Mr Brown wished to obfuscate were in fact onshore regulatory problems.”
 
Travers then turned his attention to “small but disproportionately vocal bodies”, who labelled the “Tax Taliban”.
 
He was referring to the UK based Tax Justice Network and its chief propagandist, Richard Murphy, whose leftist mantra favours high tax regimes throughout the world and fails to acknowledge the immorality of taking huge percentage of taxpayers’ earnings nor the negative effect high taxes have on exchequer revenues.

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