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Christian Aid welcomes new Isle of Man tax information sharing deal

December 11 2012 - Christian Aid welcomes the Isle of Man government’s decision to move to a more comprehensive form of tax information sharing with the UK

Crucially, it seems this will include – for the first time - details of all beneficial owners of accounts, whose identities might otherwise be hidden by trusts and companies. 

Phil Craine,  Christian Aid’s area officer for the IoM, said: ‘The Island may lose some business in the short term as dubious money leaves here for more toxic havens – but this should be offset by a reputational gain, and the knowledge that it has done the right thing.

‘A statement from the IOM Chief Minister Allan Bell that ‘automatic exchange is becoming the global standard’ was especially  encouraging, in view of the significant tax revenue lost to developing countries due to their richer residents hiding wealth offshore.’ 

Joe Stead, Christian Aid’s senior adviser for economic justice, said:  ‘The Isle of Man deserves credit for taking this significant step. Other Crown Dependencies and the UK’s Overseas Territories should rapidly follow suit.

‘We welcome the remark by the Chief Minister that automatic information exchange is becoming standard. However, it is far from a reality for developing countries, which are still deprived of access to information to enforce their tax regimes. 

‘We need both the UK and the Isle of Man to make clear that they will push for automatic information exchange to become a global norm between all countries, not just a few.
‘The Isle of Man should follow the action it has taken by signing the instrument that will help bring that about, the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.

‘The UK should as part of the promised focus on tax when it takes over the presidency of the G8 next year push for a commitment that real pressure will be put on secrecy jurisdictions to open up and exchange information. There should also be the threat of sanctions against those that continue to refuse.’

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For enquiries and interviews: Phil Craine 01624 672224 or Christian Aid press office on 0207 523 2000/07850 242 950

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around some 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. Our strategy for building the power of us all to end poverty is embodied in a new report ‘Partnership for Change’: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/2012_strategy.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 125 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk