Saturday, November 09, 2013

The UK Gold

From the Guardian:
This is the kind of film to get the blood boiling and the steam hissing out of your ears. Campaigning journalist Mark Donne has constructed an ambitious and admirably clear assault on the UK's lamentable record in the tax avoidance industry, zeroing in on the unsavoury role played by the City of London and its institutions – not just in this country, but in far more desperate international territories too. In fact, one of the more sinister allegations of this film concerns TheCityUK, a body set up by our own Square Mile, which is using its clout to develop the Kenyan capital Nairobi as a financial hub. 
With the assistance of a string of well-informed talking heads, Donne's film points out the major features of the tax avoidance landscape: tax havens, brass plates, capital flight, crown dependencies, and the like. It soon becomes clear that the avoiders' best weapon is silence – the list of those who refused to talk to the film-makers, helpfully appended to the closing credits, speaks volumes. Operating under the media radar, and taking advantage of the jurisdiction-hopping only the super-rich are capable of, this specialised skill set liberates a staggering amount of money from national treasuries, whichever way you look at it. 
Donne's film offers a harsh verdict on the current UK government; despite its protestations to the contrary, it has introduced legislation to make it easier to avoid tax abroad.
There are still screenings of The UK Gold taking place.

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