Britain launches fresh drive on tax havens

13th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain is holding talks aimed at striking deals with three more countries where its residents deposit money in banks in a bid to avoid paying tax, finance minister George Osborne said Saturday.

Officials hope that the deals, combined with previous agreements, could raise up to 10 billion pounds (16 billion dollars) by 2015.

Osborne did not identify the three new tax havens with whom Britain was in talks.

Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government, which took power in May, is battling to reduce a record deficit and last month announced the deepest public sector cuts in decades, averaging 19 percent across most departments.

Announcing the talks on tax havens, Osborne said: "We're all in this together and that includes those who try and evade tax.

"We're in the process of striking a deal with Switzerland and more deals will follow. In total, this will raise many billions of pounds, which the previous government failed to do."

The news comes a month after Britain and Switzerland agreed to start talks on making Britons with Swiss bank accounts disclose their details.

Britain also struck a deal with Liechtenstein last year to encourage some 5,000 Britons to reveal details of their bank deposits there.

© 2010 AFP

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