There are stunned expressions on the faces of Isle of Man politicians, civil servants and business leaders who have just read an official press statement from Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the UK Treasury, seen here behind his political master Gordon Brown.

After months, indeed years of undisguised hostility, most blatantly with Chancellor Alistair Darling’s recent description of the Isle of Man as being “a tax haven sitting in the Irish Sea”, the UK Treasury has issued a statement praising (yes, PRAISING) the international white list status of the island for meeting international standards of tax transparency. Indeed Mr Timms has gone further and called on other countries to follow the lead shown by the Isle of Man. I need to sit down.

The statement, available on the UK Treasury website, says:

“The United Kingdom welcomes the Isle of Man’s recognition by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as a jurisdiction that has substantially implemented the internationally agreed standard on exchange of information in tax matters and on its ongoing progress in signing Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs).”

Mr Timms went on to say “I warmly welcome the Isle of Man’s progress in agreeing Tax Information Exchange Agreements, with 14 signed so far.

“The Isle of Man’s firm commitment to enhanced transparency and exchange of information in tax matters is very encouraging and I call on others to heed their example.

“The United Kingdom also recognises that the Isle of Man is committed to international standards of anti-money laundering legislation and financial regulation, and that the Isle of Man participates in international efforts to combat financial crimes.”

Blimey – is he trying to be nice to us or is he trying to make sure that no one sets up their business here?

Joking aside it is good to read this, but the fact is that the UK Labour government still tries to blame the Isle of Man for the dreadful financial mess that it has got itself into.

See Also:

Is the Isle of Man Really a Tax Haven?

Political Double Dealing on Tax Havens

It is Official: The Isle of Man is NOT a Tax Haven

Offshore Tax Havens: Who Did Chancellor Merkel Have in Mind?

Isle of Man Praised by OECD Despite Attacks by UK Government

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