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Finance Head says Paradise Papers were ‘ploy’ to influence first ever tax haven blacklist – EU will unveil list on Tuesday

Guernsey Finance Chief Dominic Wheatley says that the release of the Paradise Papers was a ploy by left-wing media to influence the first ever tax haven blacklist.

The blacklist will be published next Tuesday and it is understood that Guernsey will not be included.

The CEO said that there was a lack of “balance and objectivity” in coverage of the data leak which revealed among other things that the Queen, Prince Charles and Bono were linked to offshore investments.

Instead of showing illegal transactions, the Paradise Papers served only to distract attention away from the real debate of how to ensure tax transparency, he said.

Mr Wheatley, whose role is funded by the Guernsey Government with contributions from the industry, said: “I think that the timing was deliberately manipulated in an obvious attempt to influence the process of the EU blacklist. This is actually an attempt at political manipulation rather than investigative journalism.”

On December 5 the European Council will release a blacklist of non EU-countries that are deemed to be tax havens.

The criteria for fair tax rules include not offering preferential tax measure, not allowing companies to move profits to avoid tax and to meet transparency guidelines set by the OECD.

It is understood that after screening 92 counties up to 36 could be included on the list including Serbia, Armenia, Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Panama and Tunisia. Leaked versions of the list show UK territories including Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey have been deemed compliant with regulations.

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