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'Defend yourselves over tax haven claims'

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TWO senior UK parliamentarians have urged finance centres such as Guernsey and Jersey to do more to defend themselves from attacks that imply they are nothing more than havens for tax cheats.

TWO senior UK parliamentarians have urged finance centres such as Guernsey and Jersey to do more to defend themselves from attacks that imply they are nothing more than havens for tax cheats.

Former Tory chief whip Lord Blencathra, pictured, and Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, both argued that international finance centres needed to be more forceful in presenting arguments as to why they act as a force for good for the UK and European economies.

They said at a London conference last week that the offshore centres now needed to be prepared to publicly fight the misconception that they merely exist to allow the wealthy to avoid their tax obligations at home.

'We have got to defend what we do as much of the criticism is nothing more than political jealousy.

'The lack of speaking up for ourselves has never been greater,' said Lord Blencathra, who was an MP for 27 years and now represents the Cayman Islands in London.

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