James Forsyth

The more we hear about tax havens, the less the G20 will have achieved

The more we hear about tax havens, the less the G20 will have achieved
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James Kirkup has a very astute post up at Three Line Whip about how to gauge the success of the G20 summit in April. Kirkup writes,

“The more you hear Mr Brown, Mr Obama and the rest talk about tax havens, the more they have failed to agree on more important things.   No one likes tax havens. They're the low-hanging fruit of the G20 process - saying rude things about the Swiss and the rest is pretty easy and uncontroversial. But it's also missing the point. This crisis didn't begin in Guernsey or the Caymans, it began in New York and London.

Remember that on April 2.  If tax havens and offshore finance are anything but a minor part of the "global new deal" struck in London then Gordon Brown has failed.”

I expect that the G20 is going to be a disappointment for Brown mainly because the Obama administration, where only one slot in the Treasury has been filled, is not in a position to talk specifics on a new international financial architecture.  I do, though, suspect that Brown will try and use Obama’s call for more global stimulus to justify more deficit spending and tax cuts. His Chancellor, however, seems to have other ideas.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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