Fun in the sun: Details of who owns companies based in tax havens are just as secret now as they ever were - and David Cameron's government will make no effort to change that.

Fun in the sun: Details of who owns companies based in tax havens are just as secret now as they ever were – and David Cameron’s government will make no effort to change that.

Here’s a quick summary of David Cameron’s responses at Prime Minister’s Questions on what the Conservative Government is doing to stop tax avoidance. Full details are here.

He said: A European Commission proposal for country-by-country tax reporting, so that companies must declare where they make their profits in the European Union and in blacklisted tax havens, was put forward by Jonathan Hill, a commissioner appointed by the Conservative Government.

But Conservative MEPs have voted against it.

He said: The Conservative Government has put more than £1 billion extra funding into HM Revenue and Customs, to make it better able to collect tax.

But this is over a five-year period (so far) and the total funding cut over the same period is £6 billion, according to HMRC itself.

He said: The number of people in full-time equivalent posts in HMRC went from 25,000 in 2010 to 26,798 in 2015.

But this bears no relationship to HMRC’s own figures, which suggest a reduction from 70,700 in 2010 to 52,000 in 2016.

He said: A public register of ‘beneficial ownership’ of companies is being set up in the UK and its dependencies, such as Jersey and the Cayman Islands.

But in the UK this register will not be available to members of the public – just to domestic authorities, financial institutions and non-financial businesses and professions undertaking customer due diligence.

But on Jersey this register was created only in response to a need for information regarding terrorist activities.

But on all Crown dependencies (including Jersey and the Cayman Islands) this register will only be accessible by law-enforcement agencies.

Full information is available in a separate Vox Political article, here.

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