We are dancing to HMGs tune

  • Anonymous
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Posted: Sun, 05/04/2009 - 21:28

Most of us, including myself, for the last six months have been taking the fight to the IoM, venting out our spleens on the DAG chat and arguing among ourselves.

Every now and again the anger about HMG not returning the 557 Million has risen up, but usually has only involved us ranting and raving about how unjust and stupid HMG are.

We are missing the point, this is all exactly what HMG want. We are doing precisely what they knew we would do. This is NOT a stupid Government, they haven't made a mistake at all, every each and every action they have taken has been carefully planned and calculated. Ministers are not unintelligent people, far from it, otherwise they would never have got into Government. Not only that but they have a whole suite of highly paid political advisors and civil servants. When this blew up in October they realised they had an excellent opportunity to attack offshore 'tax havens' with us helping them by making lots of anti-IoM noise and rightly getting angry at the IoM Government. In the greater scheme of things we are small fry, so a hundred, perhaps thousands have lost their lifes savings, so what - a small price to pay if they can shut down offshore tax havens and win extra public support/votes by penalising rich fat cats that keep their money offshore paying no UK tax. Even the return of money to Dave Whelan and public companies is politically motivated in that they can say it is helping UK jobs.

The only real chink in their plan is that many depositors had no choice in using offshore banks - we couldnt open UK mainland accounts, as show by the Glasgow Herald article, research done by depositors on this site and by comments at the last TSC hearing - however when they realised that they covered themselves by Ian Pearson quietly stating in Parliament in a poorly attended adjournment debate on the 6th of November that there was no legal reason why we had to use offshore banks as opposed to UK ones. That was a carefully placed statement and whenever we use that argument Pearson simply refers to the 'answer [he] gave on the 6th of November'.

We have been incensed at the lack of support from UK opposition parties, but see it from their point of view; if they did support us then they could be be politically attacked as supporting tax dodgers and tax havens.

The Government knew that the press wouldn't be that interested in our plight, there are no spectactular pictures, we are spread out around the world and it is a far too complex an issue for the likes of the Six O'clock news or the Sun to report. Not only that but but we are seen - still - as tax dodgers and slightly grubby.

Personally, i have continued to send letters and emails, by the hundreds, to MPs and the media - admittedly will little or no progress but when the above taken into consideration I can see why.

So what do we do? The demo in Douglas is right and proper and the more people there the better, but we also need to start to making it politically uncomfortable for the UK Government to maintain the stance they have taken. Not only that but we have to give the UK Government a way of returning the 557 Million while not losing face and still being able to continue their attack on offshore tax havens (Even if we know/believe they are in fact NOT tax havens). It is a difficult one and it would be daft to think otherwise; and i dont pretend to have the answer. Whatever we do, it must be something that the Government calculated we would NOT do AND give the Government an opportunity to score political points while still getting the 557 Million returned. Maybe direct action in London and directed at HMG is needed (the demonstration in London in May that is currently being voiced is a good start - if it ever happens) but we still need to give the Government an opportunity to return the 557 Million while being seen to be doing the right thing.

But the bottom line is that we need to stop doing HMGs dirty work for them.

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dj

  • Anonymous
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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 07:47

DJ - your comments are not too helpful about tax havens, so I assume you having put your funds in a so called tax haven did it to avoid paying tax then ?


...not my words..

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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 08:22

Sorry giveus, I am saying 'tax haven' as that is what the IoM is still seen as by many outside our group - public, press, and HMG (although they are careful not to use those exact words).

Please dont think for a minute that i consider IoM a tax haven!

Lucky Jims blog (A Simple Diplomatic Resolution of the Kaupthing IoM Debacle) also shows that recent (very recent) developments mean that HMGs assertion of IoM being a 'Tax Haven' is now in the past. I am of the firm belief that this could be a an opening for the removal of the 'Cause 27' (sorry Expat, i didnt know of it by name).


The issue of Tax haven and

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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 07:13

The issue of Tax haven and the IoM is a bit of a non-starter actually. On the IoM you pay a withholding tax or you allow the IOM to tell your country of origin your status. That is the issue about Tax Havens, secrecy and tax avoidence. According to the OECD IoM are complient with all treaties that matter. So there's not much chance of avoiding tax is there?

In fact UK and IOM have signed a renewal for a tax exchange agreement on Sep 29th 2008 so the issue of tax avoidance/evasion doesn't really exist.

"Welcoming signature, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt. Hon Jane Kennedy MP said: "This new tax information exchange agreement represents a significant step in our efforts to counter and prevent tax evasion and avoidance. I welcome the Government of the Isle of Man's willingness to implement these high standards of transparency and exchange of information and acknowledge their commitment."

So all the Tax Haven stuff by Darling and other MPs is rubbish really.


Yes I will endorse that dj ,

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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 04:42

Yes I will endorse that dj , amazing how long it's taken for the penny to drop! If you want to demo do it in London, that is here the action is, the centre of this. HMG must be laughing in there boots at how some depositors are being side tracked by their frusration, fear, desperation and an easy target. Yes parochial little IoM is an easy target isn't it. So easy to mock and accuse of nepotism and duplicity.

When does it sink in that when accounts were opened you knew that if the bank went belly-up there was a DCS that would pay out 35 grand! That is the deal you signed up to. But when it actualy happen we all scream we want 100% and you can sink in debt to do it for all we care! You may also wish to know that when you deposit money in a bank they have the right to move as they see fit. That is why we are creditirs to KSF as a group and not individulas. Crap DCS maybe, but it was there to see. I have beaten myself up for months for not seeing how Iceland was in such a precarious position, that I made the mistake of believeing people in banking that KSF was a good and safe bet. My call, nobody forced me to open the account, it was my choice and the subject of a lot of discussion in my family!!

Is it not obvious that a set of fortuitous circumstances allowed HM Treasury to act against Iceland, that in doing so they used it to beat Gordon Browns favorite drum. Tax Havens, Ten years he's been campaigning to close the IOM and other offshores. So a moment of Icelandic stupidity arrives and hey presto GB has his moment to turn it into a G20 issue. Fortuitous maybe, but as the issue rolled along HMG stood silent and watched as the IoM got pillored. Just what it wanted!! When all this started a contact in E&Y told me it was all straight forward for us, 'but remember Gordon Brown hates the IoM' he said. How true that has turned out to be hasn't it.

Some of you have been sidetracked, from the start, clause 27 has been the root of this issue, return of the money from UK and revoking that clause is what we should be working on, not throwing out accusatory PR and letters to the one place that has actualy shown a willingnesss to do someting. IoM is not lilly white, it has been slow, probably scared of the big bully across the water; Alix less than dynamic under the circumsatnces and abysmal at PR as we've told them a million times. But HM has done exactly nothing to assist. If you check the facts you'll even find it took two months for the FSA to respond to IoM! You 'll see in the TSC report that Sant actaully admits that KSF IOM is not being treated as an equal creditor because of clause 27. Why haven't IoM been given the same 100% coverage from Iceland eal that HMG negotiated?

So I am sure that some of you obect to this, well that's your choice, but I asure there is a large number of depositors out there who see exactly the same, which is why this web site gets so little attention these days!! So if you really want get your money back start pestering HMG to talk to IoM , something they seem very reluctant to do, and revoke clause 27. I notice many keep saying we don't want tax payers help, we don't want compensation from HMG, so why do you want IoM to do it then?? Its HMG that has the money people, and they didn't tell IoM they were going to purloign it!!

Niave, stupid, the FSC maybe were, but they were sold down the river by the FSA. Do you believe Hector Sant? Do you think Sant didn't know what the question was about placing the money in London? Thiink clearly before acting people, don't let all the anger, frustration, fear, depression etc beat you. You may not like this, but don't be a victim.


So what can we do?

  • Anonymous
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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 11:24

So what can we do apart form what we are doing?


UK Publicity

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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 21:34

What the hard working DAG Teams are doing is right, proper and they are working damned hard on this.

The critical thing to remember is that without the return of the £557Million from London the IoM is pretty much powerless to anything other than offer the defunct DCS or the SoA which seems is just DCS with a prettier wrapping. The Maths demonstrate this; the IoM has 80,000 people there and 80,000 cant find anywhere near enough to return 100% of our deposits.

In the legislation, that was used to take Kaupthing UK into receivership, there is a Clause that gives the UK Government the power to return the £557Million should they so wish. Of the hundreds of MP responses I have received the common theme is that it is up to the administrators of Kaupthing UK to decide when, and how much, will be returned. Dave Whelan, Stockcube and a bunch of Cats are getting (or have got) their moneys back by use of this Clause. Further, many of us were forced to use offshore banks due to the 2007 'Know Your Customer' legislation Scottish Herald Article.

We need to keep sending letters, emails and faxes to UK MP's. I'm sorry if I bang on about this but the responses I am getting show that we are sending the odd one email and then giving up when we dont get a reply or are fobbed off with the respective Party lines. I know it sounds futile, but the Government, by maintaining the silence, are banking (sorry for pun) on us giving up - lets not!

We need visibility in the UK Media The DAG Teams really are doing their best to try and get our plight in the national papers & TV/Radio media. The big problem is that it is quite a complex issue to report and the UK Media prefers pictures and one-liners. We have to stand out and be reportable. There has been mention of doing things like sending shoes through the mail to Darling and demonstrations in London. Shoes through the mail may sound purile and daft but when trying to get publicity it starts to sound not quite so odd. On Monday I mailed a single (old!) trainer to the address below with an accompanying letter (poor old Post Office person was totally confused!). A single shoe most probably wont make even a single line of news; but a load of shoes coming through the post most probably would! I know it sounds idiotic, but we need to do things that will sell newspapers and so be reportable.

I also wrote to the Met Police about a demonstration in London. The reply basically said that Spring/Summer get 'booked up' for London demonstrations. This shows that an ordinary demo with a couple of hundred folk holding placards and going for a nice stroll is run of the mill in London. It is also clear that legislation over the years mean that it is impossible to have a noticable London demo without breaking the law. I have never broken a single law (knowningly) in my life, i even drive like wet blanket, but for the sake of my family i will willing do so. Maybe a naked march (that should shock, my wife tells me my body and bits could be part of a horror movie!), maybe a sitdown protest chained to the railings of HM treasury? What are folks thoughts?

The address i sent the parcel (single shoe) to was:-

Chancellor of the Exchequer
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Rd
London
SW1A 1HQ
United Kindom


I like the idea

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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 01:26

I like the shoe idea - it will give the security guys a lot of worries though.
Many of us are abroad so will have to relie on someone else to post them- but still woth a shot.
But we need thousands of shoes to make any sort of impact,


I like that very much as it

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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 07:30

I like that very much as it happens, I'll even send an old shoe from here. I used to enjoy putting all my dirty washing on the top of the suitcase when I went through various customs, so this appeals to me. Yes it is in the UK we have to make our case now and remember all the talk of a Tax Haven is rubbish.

In fact UK and IOM have recently signed a renewal for a tax exchange agreement (Sep 29th 2008), so the issue of tax avoidance/evasion doesn't really exist. "Welcoming signature, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt. Hon Jane Kennedy MP said: "This new tax information exchange agreement represents a significant step in our efforts to counter and prevent tax evasion and avoidance. I welcome the Government of the Isle of Man's willingness to implement these high standards of transparency and exchange of information and acknowledge their commitment." So Darling and other MPs are talking rubbish.

I am very clear that the return of the money is what we need, but as much as I have reservations about the SoA, and want it to go to a vote, we are still dealing with a receivership for want of a better phrase. We are dealing with a process that has a defined end. Protest votes or otherwise don't matter. And like it or not the SoA is the best of a bad lot at the moment. Its the only one that wiill give the flexibility to accomodate the ruturn of the money.

Elgee's points about the why of all this is pretty accurate, excpt that it all sounds very conspiratorial, whereas in my and many others view, its a normal piece of hardarsed busieness practice. We've been aware for some time that the banks were unhappy about this, because they see what has happened as a political act by the UK. Pretty good considering many of them atre now ostensably owned by HMG.I ts a matter of perspective. Nasty you may say, hey business is nasty, you protect your own postion first. As I have said before you signed up knowing there was a 35 grand DCS, end of story in a court room as far as I am concerned. Sueing the directors sounds excellent, I'd like to do that and more, its known as suing a man of straw, they'll have some form of limited liabilty insurance rest assured, You won't get much, probably the same with the FSC. Either way I think it has been pointed out many times on the forum that once a company goes in to liquidation you can't sue it.

So right now the best course of action is to get the TSC recommendaion actually working isn't it. Or of course all Gordon Brown words about global 100% cover are simply hot air to get the headlines.

But you are all welcome to your views, welcome to act as you feel, self evidently I do! I want my money back as well, but deluding ourselves about who will do what isn't going to get it is it. We are dealing with a process here and we need to remember it. Don't get pulled off track by diversions that sound great but are unrealistic or you will have a liquidation and no return of funds and no chance at all of 100% return. Hell the chance is slim enough as it is, without blowing it totally out of the water.


SoA accomodates the return of the £557 Million?

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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 08:43

With you 100% expat. But there is one point you have made which I may well have missed and which perhaps i need to learn.

"The SoA ... give[s] the flexibility to accomodate the return of the [£557 Million]." - could you possibly expand on that. I have stuck my heals in over the SoA (dismissing it as a 'DCS in a nice wrapper'). My view is that these schemes are as bad as each other and that the real fight should be for the return of the £557 Million. If the SoA still allows for the return of that, and into our pockets, my attitude may be very wrong indeed.

So could you possibly educate my simple mind a little here before I, possibly misguidedly, continue my anti-SoA tirade...


Return of?

  • Anonymous
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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 08:56

Hi dj,
can you explain that in a bit more detail - how does a SoA allow more flexibility to have the £557 million returned from KSF UK.

What is of greater interest is the timescales imposed via the SoA for people to vote, remembering that if their vote is late it is not counted either in the 50% by number or 75% by value, and given the very short time span in which to do this, I think many of the depositors votes may not 'count'


Going through it now...

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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 10:57

TD,

At the moment I cant explain the SoA allowing more flexibility in having the £557 million returned from KSF UK. It is actually a question aimed at Expat as he mentions it in his post.

I am currently going through the SoA word for word at the moment. I have always been vehemently against the SoA but this is from a position of not having given it a damn good read - which is possibly wrong of me.

Its long winded legalese so may take some time (and lots of strong coffee!).


Absolutely

  • Anonymous
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  • Tue, 07/04/2009 - 02:07

Yes, it will give the security folk at the Treasury a load of work. Good! :-)

Posting from abroad is ok; no laws are being broken by sending used footware and so sending to the UK from abroad should be no problem.

With the response to things like the 10 Downing Street petition only attracting 1150 signatories from us 8000+ depositors though, i doubt if more than a couple of hundred shoes would be sent. But I still think even that number would cause enought of a stir to make the newspapers.


Nice one Expat

  • Anonymous
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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 08:10

Indeed the penny is a dropping. The IoM are really powerless to do anything really constructive until the money - our money - is returned from the UK. Until then we will continue to be led along with schemes and dead ends.


Excellent!

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  • Mon, 06/04/2009 - 06:48

its all becoming Clear....this is what I feel exactly although expat thanks you have conveyed it perfectly!

Aurora


Luck Jims blog

  • Anonymous
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  • Sun, 05/04/2009 - 21:36

Lucky Jims blog about a simple solution and that the IoM is no longer a Tax Haven is an excellent and spot-on blog (i read it after my speal above) and should be carefully explored - it could be the start of opening the door to a route HMG Government could take in getting the 557 Million returned. Nice one LJ.


Totally agree

  • Anonymous
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  • Sun, 05/04/2009 - 22:34

I totally agree with your sentiment and that LJ's blog showed a simple insight into the pressure that should be put on both HMG and the IOMG to uphold their moral stance. There will be loss of face. The TSC report shows mistakes have been made and they need to be corrected. What better political spin, could the Isle of Man, gain, right now, by showing themselves to have a creditable banking system by returning KSFIOM's depositors money. This is their golden opportunity - let's hope they have the far-sightedness to see this....