Island receives glowing report from FT

Monday 23rd November 2009 |

The FT's Doing Business In The Isle of Man was a four-page pullout giving an overview of the Island as a business centre.

Under a main headline 'Staying the course as storm clouds hover' the FT reported on the Freedom to Flourish initiative, which received an endorsement from Celton Manx chief executive Bill Mummery who was quoted speaking in support of the campaign.

In another report the FT looked at moves to increase diversity in the Island's economy which included references to e-gaming and the Island's ship and aircraft registers.

A quote from the Callow's Yard developer seems to have caught the eye of one of the FT's sub-editors as Mr Tilleard's photo appears with a quote underneath.

The report questioned whether the government may decide to increase tax on the wealthy to raise more revenue in order to offset losses due to the VAT revenue sharing with the UK.

Mr Tilleard was quoted as being against the option saying: 'If they put my tax up I would go berserk. Do they want me to stay here or not?'

He is then quoted as saying that it is better to keep taxes on the wealthy at current levels as this encouraged them to invest in projects which created jobs and wealth for the Island.

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To coincide with the FT's Isle of Man special the newspaper hosted a debate at The Sefton Hotel with a panel answering questions from business leaders.

A report on the debate can be found on pages four and five of Business News.

The debate was chaired by Brian Groom, the FT's business and employment editor.

Mr Groom was asked for his opinion on the image the Isle of Man has in the business world.

He said it must be frustrating for the Isle of Man Government, and the Island's business community, that despite trying to show that it should not be pigeon-holed as a 'tax haven' that view was still one that it was difficult to shake off.

'It must be frustrating as the Isle of Man has been in the forefront of offshore centres attempting to demonstrate that it is a responsible jurisdiction from the Edwards report in the late 1990s onwards,' said Mr Groom.

Mr Groom said that the Isle of Man had done everything it could to show the international business community that it was a responsible jurisdiction and he made reference to the 18 tax exchange agreements signed with other countries.

'You do all these things, and get on the OECD white list, and then all the big countries decide to blame tax havens for the international financial crisis,' he added.

'And then they come back looking for revenues themselves, it must be immensely frustrating.

'But the Isle of Man went down the right path in the 1990s in showing that it's part of the developed world, it's responsible and it's not a fly by night tax haven and has high standards of probity.

'The Isle of Man has been prepared to have reasonable discussions at every international forum and to meet whatever pressures are thrown at it and I think it has to carry on doing that and carry on getting its message across and argue honestly and openly and tell the truth about the way it does its business.

'There's no alternative to that and that's the way the Island has got to go.'

Source : Isle of Man Today

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