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  1. ITV Report

Economist Richard Murphy: Corbyn has no sympathy for tax havens

Economist Richard Murphy, a long-standing critic of the Channel Islands, has told ITV News he believes the Bailiwicks are secretive "tax havens" that undermine the UK's tax system.

We spoke to him immediately after today's Prime Minister's Questions, where Jeremy Corbyn spoke for the first time as leader of the opposition.

I have the feeling that Jeremy is opposed to tax havens, he really has no sympathy for them - and really why should he, why does any British politician have any sympathy with a tax haven - as it’s undermining the UK’s tax revenues.

– Richard Murphy, Economist

We asked Mr Murphy: 'What advice would you give Jeremy Corbyn with regards to the Channel Islands?'

We’ve made progress with regards to the Channel Islands over the past few years and all credit to the last government who did impose certain things.

Information exchange and so on, which are a benefit. But there’s a lot more to go. There is no situation where you can find out who the shareholders in a Channel Island company really are, but we’re going to have a register of beneficial ownership in the UK. In the UK we can see the accounts of companies - in the Channel Islands we can’t.

There’s a lot of secrecy that remains in the Channel Islands which is completely unacceptable in a modern world where information is needed. First of all to make sure people pay the right amount of tax, secondly, so people can understand the risks of trading with companies based in the islands, and thirdly, to make sure that international capital is used to best effect.

These are market imperfections that corrode trust in market places and I would strongly recommend to Jeremy Corbyn that he should actually demand that the Channel islands come up to the standards of the UK with regards to transparency, and so far there’s been no sign of that.

– Richard Murphy, Economist

And then we asked his advice for Jersey and Guernsey...

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