David Cameron has written to the leaders of Britain’s offshore tax havens stressing the need to “get our own houses in order” as he pushes for international action to tackle avoidance schemes.
In a message to ten crown dependencies and British overseas territories, Mr Cameron said he backed their right to be low-tax jurisdictions but insisted that rules needed to be set and enforced fairly.
The move comes ahead of next month’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland, where Mr Cameron will push for an agreement aimed at clamping down on tax evasion and avoidance.
He said he wanted the G8 to “knock down the walls of company secrecy” to reveal who really owns and controls firms. Mr Cameron’s initiative came as he prepared to meet Google boss Eric Schmidt in Downing Street.
Mr Cameron wrote: “As you know, I have made fighting the scourge of tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance a priority for the G8 Summit, which the UK is hosting next month.
“This is the critical moment to get our own houses in order.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to write new rules to tackle corporate tax dodgers if he wins the next election.