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Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Tuesday, 24 April 2012 09:26 UK

Are tax havens 'blameless'?


The government has said that it is committed to cracking down on tax avoidance in the UK, but should more be done to prevent people from using off-shore tax havens?

Anthony Travers, head of the Cayman Stock Exchange, told the Today programme's Simon Jack that tax avoidance is entirely a function of domestic tax law.

"Tax competition is a function of the sovereign right of a nation," he said, insisting that any Cayman Island companies are "taxed in accordance to United States law".

Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands, told Simon Jack that it is terribly difficult for tax a authority like the US to stop haemorrhaging capital to off-shore companies.

"It is nonsense saying that tax heavens are blameless," he said.

"Once you start undermining the tax systems of other countries through tax evasion, that is a form of economic warfare."

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