Sunday, March 02, 2008

An odd use of sanctions?

Apparently the Alistair Darling is pressing the EU to put sanctions on Monaco because it's a tax haven. In fact, they also have Andorra in their sights having gone after Liechtenstein already.

Now excuse me for a second for being so utterly naive, but I've never heard of putting sanctions on a sovereign state because they oppress their people, starve them, or are hostile towards you. But, putting sanction on a country because you don't like the fact they have a zero percent tax rate?

Let's be under no false impressions here. Andorra and Monaco do not oppress the people who live there. They're only apparent crime is that they are all rich, and being rich they all accept that their money will buy them stuff there and the Government will give them nothing but borders to live within. What exactly is wrong with that?

Sounds like heaven to me, you earn your money, and you live within your means from the money you have. Using sanctions against bad regimes, that is understandable, using them against the rich in order to affect domestic tax rates in the target state isn't. Can anyone seriously claim that Monaco is on a par with say Zimbabwe when it comes to applying sanctions?

16 comments:

mitch said...

Only a lefty politician could think this is a good idea.

tory boys never grow up said...

The offence is not what these tax havens do or do not do their own citizens - it is the assistance which they provide to law breakers (or tax dodgers) from the UK and other EU countries. If these staes want to aid and abet criminals (and tax evasion is a crime) then they cannot expect the victims to stand idly by. Perhaps you might want to suggest a more effective way to deal with such criminals. That said Darling perhaps ought to look at the tax havens in our own backyard first - the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (threaten with acknowledging French Sovereignty might do the trick).

I always find it interesting how Tories have such a double standard when it comes to the crime of tax evasion. Is it because they/their friends are all committing it themselves?

I think you will find that the sanctions proposed may be rather different from that which are being used for Zimbabwe.

dougal said...

Hey, Tory Boy, look at (Labour)MP Geoffrey Robinson's financial activities re his personal fortune - strictly offshore, my dear boy! And he's a close friend of the Beloved Leader. Or try Lakshmi Mittal, or Ron Sandler or Ronnie Cohen, all friends of Labour.

dizzy said...

"I always find it interesting how Tories have such a double standard when it comes to the crime of tax evasion. "

I always find it interesting how Labour tits always assume that a crime is being committed and prefer to scrap the concept of habeas corupus at a grand level. I also find it more interesting, or should I say amsuing, that a member of the Government is an anonymous commenter on right wing blogs.

john miller said...

It is almost as though in 1998, after Blair got away with accepting a £1 million bribe from Bernie Ecclestone, an epiphany occurred in Westminster.

Blair never sacked anyone for corruption unless it was a raging cert that the Old Bill were on the doorstep. Cronies were handed thousands of pounds for sod all work and the average MP thought "I'm superman!".

"I can change the laws as I want, I can be as corrupt as I want, provided I'm careful and if we all stick together, we can never be sacked. If I get found out breaking the law , I have to be really unlucky to get arrested, which is the only way I'll have to resign. I can award myself my own pay increases, claim whatever expenses I like and end up with a super pension."

Having sewn up the home front in a matter of a few years, eyes were turned to the far horizons. Wars were ever so much fun - and you didn't even have to divert precious money away from quangoes to fight them! Then came the blip of Iraq and so lo! we have an economic war on Monaco, because of its TAX regime ffs!

Suppose Russia, believing that our communist regime was a bit slow in coming, turned off our gas supply?

Yeah, you guessed, creeps like TBNGU above would be straight on the bandwagon, sequestering our votes in return for the lifetime service contract.

labour girls are bullies said...

'Tories have such a double standard'

If we're discussing hypocrisy in this area I'd like to throw up David Mills. The Ex Mr Jowell made a fortune from constructing tax evasion mechanisms. This is after he was an Old Lab politician.
In the higher strata of New Labour it seems to have been conceded that tax was only for low and middle income people.
As it stands the tax burden on low income people in the UK is approximately that of middle income earners in the Republic Of Ireland.
Borrowing money from those on a low income and promising to use it to make their lives better is a sacred trust.
Too often this trust is broken by Labour, whose profligate waste and brainwashing creates a tyranny.

Sam Duncan said...

Are we talking about evasion or avoidance here, TBNGU?

Tony Sharp said...

"The offence is not what these tax havens do or do not do their own citizens - it is the assistance which they provide to law breakers (or tax dodgers) from the UK and other EU countries. If these staes want to aid and abet criminals (and tax evasion is a crime) then they cannot expect the victims to stand idly by."

So because legal activities in those tax havens break our laws we should threaten sanctions?

What about Britain refusing to repatriate people from other countries who have committed crimes, such as acts of terror and conspiracy?

It seems you can do violence upon people and be protected for it, but deny the Exchequer some tax receipts and the gloves come off. It is all relative to the leftists.

tory boys never grow up said...

The concept of "habeas corpus" exists at an individual level rather than a grand level before you start to pronounce on what it means. Survey after survey shows that there is a substantial loss of tax revenue to offshor tax havens - and this means the ordinary tax payer has to pay more as a result. Now what would you do about it?

It is quite common when a crime is committed for the police not to know who the perpetrators are - so are you say that the Police should not be allowed to investigate (or make enquiries internationally) because this would be scrapping the concept of habeas corpus on a grand scale? Just because there is quite rightly an assumption of innocence until proved otherwise - I fail to see why you think that the Authorities should be inhibited in making their enquiries.

As for being a member of the Government yet another baseless accusation I'm afraid.

tory boys never grow up said...

As for the EU proposals for a withholding tax - of course such a technique is widely used in evil communist states - like the USA for example.

Little Black Sambo said...

Interfering in the affairs of other (small) countries is all of a piece with what they do with the captive population of their own, all the time.

Barnacle Bill said...

So I suppose on this basis we are going to have sanctions against other EU countries for their lower taxes on fuel, tobacco, etc...
So not content with pissing off the whole of the Middle East. We are now going to have a go at the rest of Europe.
One way of getting out of the EU I suppose.
On a more serious note though, shouldn't we try to have a fairer taxation system for everyone in this country, before we go about threatening sanctions against those who benefit because of the mucked up system here?

Anonymous said...

The US may have a withholding tax, but the US is a sovereign state and a democracy, meaning that its citizens could vote down the tax if they chose to do so.

The EU is neither a sovereign state nor a democracy and the idea of an EU withholding tax is an absolute disgrace.

Alex said...

This is not about evasion, simply avoidance. A few, probably less than 10,000, wealthy European citizens live in Monaco and claim that as their tax residence, even though some of them spend significant amounts of time in the UK and in other EU countries.

If the tax rate is so high that they are prepared to go put up with the inconvenience of shuttling backwards and forwards, then it is no business of Darling or the EU if they choose to rearrange their affairs to lower their tax bill.

It might upset a government of control freaks who theink they have a god given right to confiscate property to give to their voters, but in the real world there are limits to their power over peoples' lives.

David Miliband never grows up said...

"Survey after survey shows that there is a substantial loss of tax revenue caused by people choosing to live in other countries - and this means the ordinary tax payer has to pay more as a result. Now what would you do about it?

This Government intends to introduce sanctions on all foreign countries until they pay us our rightful share of their tax revenues"

V said...

tax is a compulsory charge on an individual's income. When it is done on a lower level, its called a protection racket.

So our government are getting upset because another Country is offering a way to avoid this official protection racket - not surprised the Labour jackboots are getting upset!