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Sunday Business (London)

July 1, 2001

Critics Cautiously Welcome International Tax Deal

By Martin Essex

BODY: Critics of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development's proposed clampdown on so-called "harmful" tax competition have given a cautious welcome to an expected compromise on the issue by the OECD.

Although the Paris-based group of leading industrialised nations has yet to announce the results of meetings held last week, it is expected to have given ground in its attack on countries regarded as uncooperative tax havens.

The International Tax & Investment Organisation, which represents a group of small, developing nations, said it welcomed signs that an OECD deadline on compliance has been extended and threatened sanctions delayed.

It warned that the process could still fail unless small and developing countries were allowed to become properly involved rather than simply being dictated to. The Center for Freedom & Prosperity, an American lobby group pressing the United States to oppose the OECD initiative, said that thanks to US leadership the OECD had retreated.

"The bad news is that the OECD is still demanding that other countries have an obligation to help enforce the oppressive tax laws of member nations," said CFP president Andrew Quinlan.


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