• January 24, 2016


‘We are not a tax haven’ that’s not ‘exactly’ what Allan was saying to Journo’s over lunch in London about 18 months ago – read on:

The seemingly innocuous BBC programme about the tax dreams of a small Welsh village would have swiftly faded from the memory and was always unlikely to be a BBC iPlayer favourite. However the Chief Minister (or as Mec Vannin term him these days ‘the Chief Sinister’) used utterances on the programme by ‘Cat’ Turner former finance industry worker to lash out in one of the periodic bouts of tourette’s he suffers these days.

We are not a tax haven he said – end of! Only it wasn’t because in what is rapidly evolving into TURNERGATE the lady indicated she wasn’t for turning and actually had the temerity to show her ‘cat like claws’ to the CM again. Basically she reiterated in terms of the finance industry being a tax haven: ‘If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck’.

Now Allan is not used to this and it’s one thing shutting off embarrassing noises in Tynwald and the Keys. The President and Speaker can always be relied on in that regard. What to do with an outsider?

Then help arrives from an unlikely quarter. Turner’s colleague Kate Beecroft MHK perhaps perturbed that Turner is achieving more media minutes than she is rode as an unlikely heroine to the rescue of the Chief Minister saying:

“There is a lot of comment on social media about Cat Turners comments and views on the Island’s finance sector. I would like to make it clear that they are her personal views and not those of LibVan. We are justifiably proud and fully supportive of our finance industry.

I believe that Cat’s views are outdated and that she has done the industry a disservice. I remember the programme that she quoted on the TV. That was over thirty years ago !! I worked in the industry then when it was an unregulated fledgling and where the norm was people arriving with suitcases full of cash and no questions asked. I carried on working in it until just before I was elected to represent Douglas South in September 2011 and I can promise you that it is such a different animal to its early days as to be almost unrecognizable. Today the industry is populated by highly qualified and professional people and business is conducted to a very high standard indeed. In fact there are so many regulations to comply with that most in the industry complain about being overly regulated.

I am not one to usually congratulate government but I do in this instance. They have been ahead of the game and ensured that the Island has retained and improved its image and reputation year on year and I for one sincerely hope that it stays that way. “

So the ‘Cat’ is wrong the finance industry is a different animal now according to Kate.

But wait a bit that’s not what Allan himself said only 18 months ago when wining and dining some journo’s in London as part of the ‘we’re not a tax haven’ charm offensive. Here’s the quote from the article:

“So what to make of the fact that some firms still use the Isle of Man as a base from which to avoid tax in other countries? A recent example is the coffee chain Caffe Nero, which re-routed its profits through a subsidiary on the island and another in Luxembourg to dodge HMRC in the UK.

Allan Bell, the Isle of Man’s chief minister, acknowledges that situations like this undermine his government’s claim that their micro-state is not a tax haven.

But, over dinner with journalists in London, Bell said through the government’s policies he is trying to “clean up whatever legacy issues there may be on the island”.

So there you have it 18 months ago the CM said the Island was ‘trying’ to clean up ‘legacy issues’. Maybe he meant all that money allegedly owed to the Canadian tax man.

More to come in this story I would wager. In fact for a Manx ‘cat’ quite a few twists in the ‘tale’ yet!


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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