COMMUNICATIONS Commission chairman Juan Watterson MHK accused the BBC of ‘ill-informed parroting of Labour rhetoric’ over its reporting of Ed Miliband’s tax haven comments.
Mr Watterson said the commission had approached the BBC to protest at an item broadcast on North West Tonight on Monday which described the island as a ‘world-famous tax haven’.
He told Tynwald this was an example of constant monitoring of the BBC’s output and how it affects the island.
David Callister MLC described the news item as ‘quite appalling and totally biased against the Isle of Man’.
It was reported in the UK press at the weekend Labour leader Mr Miliband would demand the UK Government forces Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man to reveal the identity of British tax ‘evaders’ with money hidden on the islands.
Mr Miliband said he would call this week for negotiations to begin with the governments on the three islands.
And he would also demand ministers follow up the talks with threats to shame the islands by placing them on a globally recognised blacklist drawn up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Conservative MP Mark Field, who represents the Cities of London and Westminster, has dismissed Mr Miliband’s comments: ‘Ed Miliband’s comments are behind the curve here and the evidence paints a very different picture.
‘In July last year the Isle of Man moved to automatic exchange of information under the EU Savings Directive putting it at the forefront of best practice in transparency and regulation.
‘International bodies such as the OECD have repeatedly recognised the Isle of Man’s record of compliance.
‘It should also be noted that the Isle of Man takes a proactive approach to its international responsibilities and has a positive working relationship with the (UK) Government.’
Chief Minister Allan Bell hit back at Mr Milband’s comments, saying: ‘It seems the statement has more to do with his battle to establish himself as a credible leader of the Labour Party than a concern with the Isle of Man as such.’
On Monday, we asked the Labour Party central office whether Ed Miliband genuinely believes the Isle of Man is not as well regulated as the UK, and asked the party to provide figures showing the number of people/amount of money that has been put into the Isle of Man illegally and what evidence it had of the island’s non-co-operation with UK authorities.
We also asked the party to confirm whether it was referring to the legal practice of tax avoidance or the illegal one of tax evasion.
iomtoday had not received a response as this story went live.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Thursday 23 May 2013
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