Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Saturday, 2 May 2009 12:32 UK

UK praises Manx tax list status

Allan Bell
Allan Bell welcomed the UK's positive comments

The Isle of Man government has welcomed the UK's acknowledgement of its efforts to make the island a responsible financial centre.

UK Treasury secretary Stephen Timms has praised its inclusion on an OECD "white list" of countries meeting international standards on taxation.

It comes a few months after Chancellor Alistair Darling dubbed the island a "tax haven sitting in the Irish Sea".

Manx treasury minister Allan Bell said the softened stance was "positive".

In the OECD list, the Isle of Man was named among jurisdictions that had "substantially implemented the internationally-agreed tax standard".

It's a very, very positive statement indeed
Allan Bell, Treasury Minister

Other countries in the island's bracket include the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France.

The Isle of Man has also signed 14 tax information exchange agreements (TIEA) with countries as part of ministers' attempts to improve transparency.

Mr Timms said: "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."

Reacting to the UK statement, the Manx treasury minister said it would help the Isle of Man in the future.

"It's a very, very positive statement indeed," said Mr Bell.

"I think the fact we have got it is the important thing, because it is now in our armoury should further criticism come from the UK government or indeed other sources in the future."

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